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Full text of "Final report of the Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia ("the Iranian Green Light Subcommittee"), with minority views : report prepared for the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives"

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Y 4, IN 8/16: IR 1/4 

104th Congress 
2d Session 





















'*fr sv 


m 1 g f997 

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations of the 

House of Representatives 
















OCTOBER 10, 1996 
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations 

37-510 CC WASfflNGTON : 1997 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-054070-4 


HENRY J. HYDE, minou. Chairman 
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana, Ranking Democratic Member 



CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina 
JAN MEYERS ^ Kansas 

Richard J. POCKER, Chief Coungel 

John I. MILUS, Staff Director 

Richard MELTZER, Minority Chief Counsel 

Michelle Maynard, Minority Staff Director 

^Representative Sam Brownback (RrKS) was initially chosen to serve on the Select Sob- 
oonunittee. Congresmonal scheduling, however, truncated his service. Full Committee Chairman 
Benjamin A. Oilman appointed Representative Jan Meyers (R-KS) to satisfy the Subcommittee's 
complement of RepubUcan members. 




December 20, 1996 

(U) TKis letter responds to the Select Subconmiittee' s request, 
contained in letters from Chairman Hyde of October 11, 1996, and 
Mr. Hamilton of October 15, 1996, that the executive branch 
review for classification the Subcommittee's majority and 
minority reports. The final version of the majority report was 
provided on October 23. The final version of the minority report 
is dated October 25. Supplemental information to these reports 
was provided subsequent to both final reports being received. On 
November 6, the executive branch also received from Chairman Hyde 
a request to review for classification a 26-page letter to the 
Department of Justice signed by the Republican members of the 
Select Subcommittee. As these letters correctly note the reports 
are lenqthy (approximately 600 pages) and contain a great deal of 
classified information. 

(U) In response to these requests NSC staff distributed these 
materials to designated representatives of the Departments of 
State, Defense, including component elements, and the Central 
Intelligence Agency. In order to maximize knowledge, save time, 
and in the interest of the addressing the majority and minority 
reports at the same time, the executive branch treated these 
requests as a single request. Classification/Declassification 
experts from each of these entities have now coii^>leted their 
review by portion marking each paragraph and footnote. 
Additionally, we have bracketed the specific portions of the text 
that are classified within each marked paragraph or footnote. 

(U) The executive branch reviewed the document for classified 
infonnation only. The executive branch review did not address 
the substantive content of these documents. Neither does this 
letter. Further, this declassification review does not 
constitute concurrence in the public release of any declassified 
information enclosed. 

__^_ Sue to the length 

voluminous nature of the classified material contained in them. 
Including sources and methods of intelligence that directly 



Inform and provide for the safety of U.S. forces in Bosnia, the 
executive branch is not in a position to offer substitute 
language. _This would require rewriting th e majority of both 

(U) Executive branch review of the letter to the Department of 
Justice referenced above, indicated that one sentence on page 18 
could reveal an intelligence source or method. With the 
inclusion of this sentence, the letter would be classified TOP 
SECRET/GAMMA. With the deletion of this sentence, the letter 
would be unclassified. The "classified attachment* to the letter 
should be marked TOP SECRET/GAMMA. 

(U) The text of this letter is also being sent to Mr. Van Dusen. 


William Danvers 

Special Assistant to the President 

and Senior Director for 

Legislative Affairs 

Mr. Patrick Murray 

Professional Staff Member 

Committee on International Relations 

Room 2170 RHOB 

Washington, D.C. 29515-6128 

Enclosure: a/s 




Chapter 1: Origins and Phirpose of the Select Subcommittee 1 

The Uncovering of the Iranian Green Light Policy by the Press 2 

The Congressional Response 11 

The Genesis of the Select Subcommittee 15 

Chapter 2: The Dissolution of Yugoslavia and the Early Years of the Balkans 

War 18 

Chapter 3: The Public Policy of the Clinton Administration on the Bosnian 

Arms Embargo: Denial and Deception 23 

The Administration's Sea Legs: The Idealism of Assertive Multi- 
lateralism 23 

International Political Reality: The Europeans Say "No" 25 

Denial of the Iranian Green Light Policy 34 

Chapter 4: The Public Policy of the Clinton Administration on Iran 40 

Recognition of the Problem: Iran 40 

The Policy Response to the Iranian Threat 41 


Chapter 5: Conduct of the Subconmnittee Investigation 44 

Testimony 44 

Acquisition of Classified and Non-Classified Federal Government Docu- 
ments 46 

Chapter 6: Administration Record of Cooperating with the Select Subcommit- 
tee 48 

Agency Compliance 49 

The Prospect of Subpoenas 62 

The Adnunistration's Classification Game 63 

Chapter 7: The Investigation by the President's Intelligence Oversight Board . 65 

Origins of the lOB Investigation 65 

Conduct of the lOB Investigation 67 

Findings of th» lOB 69 

Limitations of the lOB Report 71 

Chapter 8: Evolution and Implementation of the Iranian Green Light Policy ... 75 

No Question: "We Have a Policy" (1991-April 1994) 76 

The Question is Orchestrated (July 1993-April 1994) 80 

Getting Acquainted 
Without Our Fingerprints 

The Question is Posed 92 

Fishing in Troubled Waters 
The Home Office Fails to Distinguish Itself 
"Exactly Where We Want to Be*^ 
"Mine Shaft Canary" 
"Hunker Down" 
"Walk it Back" 

Chapter 9: Allegations of U.S. Officials Facilitating Iranian Arms Shipments . 137 

[XXXXJOOOCX] Missile Episode 139 

Tuzla Mysteiy Flights 145 

Chapter 10: The Iranian Green Li^t and Covert Action 147 

Introduction 147 

Overview of the Legal Regime Governing Covert Action 147 

Application of Covert Law 154 

An Invitation to More Restrictions? 156 

Noncooperation in Congressional Investigative Functions 158 



Chapter 11: Conflicting Testimony and Questions to Be Resolved 159 


Chapter 12: The Green Light and the Iranian Foothold in Europe: Part 

I— Croatia 161 

The Bush Administration's Refusal to Open the Door to Iranians 162 

The Iranian Green Light and the Growth of Iranian Influence and the 

Terrorist Threat in Croatia 164 

Chapter 13: The Green Light and the Iranian Foothold in Europe: Part 

n— Bosnia 172 

Before the Green Lu^t 172 

After the Green Light 174 

The Green Light and the Dayton Accords: An Expedient Becomes an 

Impediment 179 

Chapter 14: The Legacy of the Green light in Bosnia, Today and Tomorrow ... 188 

Diminishing Hopes 188 

Izetbegovic and the Radicalization of the Muslim Political Leadership 189 

The Iranian and Foreign Radical Islamic Presence and Influence Toaay ... 194 

The Iranian Green Light and the Future of Bosnia: Worrying Signs 199 

Chapter 15: Conclusions 200 


A. Budget, Biographies, and Acknowledgments 211 

B. Correspondence 219 

C. Chart Detailing Detected Islamic Arms Donations and Purchases Flown 
to Croatia for Transshipment to the Bosnian Muslims — May 1994 — Decem- 
ber 1995 (SECRET) 

— Ambassador Peter Galbraith's Memorandum to the File — May 6, 1994 
(redacted)— (UNCLASSIFIED) 220 




Congress of the United States ^h*™** 

House of Representatives 
Committee on International Relations 

&bc> SaksmmittM ea t&< Vtutti Sutta Role in 
trMMum Ami Trausfen to Croatia atdBotnU 

Washington, D.C 20515 
Novembar 7, 1996 

The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman 


Committee on International Relations 

21 70 Raybum House Office Building 

Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Mr. Chairman: 

In accordance with H.Res 41 6 (f). directing the Select Subcommittee to transmit 
a report to the Committee on International Relations not later than six months after the 
date of the Resolution, please find enclosed a copy of the Select Subcommittee's 
Report, together with Minority Views. The Report was approved by the Select 
Subcommittee during an executive session on October 10, 1996. 

I urge the Committee to review the Report carefully for matters that the 
Committee may wish to pursue further in the next Congress. I also believe the 
Committee should continue the Subcommittee's efforts to get the Executive Branch 
to declassify as much as much of the Report as possible without endangering 
legitimately classified information. Assuming the Administration is reasortable in its 
approach to declassification, it would be of particular value to the American people if 
the Committee were able to work from the redacted classified version to prepare a 
revised, unclassified version for public release. 


(UndasiKled when detached froni Classiflad Report) 




On April 5, 1996, the Los Angeles Times ran a front-page article by James Risen 
and Doyle McManus that led with the sentence: 

Presidfcnt Clinton secretly gave a green light to covert Iranian arms 
shipments into Bosnia in 1994 despite a United Nations arms embargo that 
the United States was pledged to uphold and the Administration's own policy 
of isolating Tehran globally as a supporter of tenorism, according to senior 
Administration officials and other sources/ 

This article was the first of several extraordinary articles that spelled out in detail, with 
what turned out to t>e excellent sourcing, a |x>licy decision that the Clinton Administration 
had carefully guarded for two years - forbidding reference to it in writing, denying it to the 
press, deflecting Cortgress, hoodwinking allies, and even trying to keep it secret from the 
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Secretary of Defense. The 
decision came to be referred to by higher ranking Administratkin officials as the "wink and 
nod,* the blind eye,* and other terms, but the one that seemed to have stuck was given 
near the time of the decisnn's inceptnn by one of its intellectual authors: the 'green light.'^ 

The articles authoritatively spelled out the advantages Iran had reaped from the 
green light policy, the confusion it had caused within the Executive Branch, and the other 
policy options that had been overlooked or rejected by the Administratbn as being too 

The congressksnal response was one of incredulity. Members were shocked to 
learn that the Administration had chosen to give Iran an unprecedented foothokj in an 
extremely unstable and vulnerable part of Europe. It was equally disturbing that for two 
years the Administratkm had purposely hkJden from Congress, US allies, and the American 
people its highly questionat)ie, major US poTicy shift 

* James Risen and Doyle McManus. US. Qk'd Iranian Arms for Bosnia . QffirJals 
Say. Los Angeles Times. Apr. 5. 1996. at 1 . 

' First used in writing by US Ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith on May 12. 
1994 in a Memorandum for the File (hereinafter 'Galbraith Memorandum*). 


There had been occasional press reports before that might have exposed the policy, 
earlier, however. Congress continued to believe the Administration's denials of the Iranian 
green light policy. Congress found it unlikely that the Administration would adopt such a 
policy that was inconsistent and incompatible with the Administration's well-known and 
vigorously championed policies regarding the former Yugoslavia and Iran. Also, given the 
long-settled US policy of isolating Iran both economically and politically, Congress refused 
to believe that the Administration could have such bad judgment as to invite Iran, the 
world's largest exporter of terrorism, into Europe, much less into an area so ripe for 
fundamentalist exploitation as the Balkans. 

The thought was that the Administration would surely inforni Congress if it intended 
a major policy shift towards Iran and Bosnia. In retrospect. Congress cannot be blamed 
for presuming to trust the Administration's trijthfulness, consistency, and strategic acumen. 

In any case, when the story of the green light policy broke in April 1 996, there were 
calls from both houses of Congress for an investigation; since then, several committees 
have looked into the issue, emphasizing aspects relevant to their specific areas of 
oversight. For example, both intelligence oversight committees - the House Permanent 
Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - have 
examined the green light policy with an emphasis on its intelligence-related issues. Also, 
on May 8, 1996, the House approved Resolution 416, establishing a select subcommittee 
of the House Intemational Relations Committee and gave it a broad charter to investigate 
all aspects of the policy and implenientation. This sutxnmmittee, the Select Subcommittee 
to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia (also 
known as the 'Iranian Green Light* Sut)committee) conducted an extensive investigatren 
of the green light policy over the ensuing months and presents its findings and 
recommendations in this report. 

The Uncovering of the Iranian Green Light Policy by the Press 

As early as May 1994, allegations began to surface that Iran, with some sort of US 
complicity, was covertly transferring weapons to Bosnia, despite a United Nations (UN) 
amts embargo on the former Yugoslavia. Each time the Administration issued denials of 
US complicity and managed to keep the story in the botUe.* 

* The Administration's polk:y of denial and deceptk>n on this issue is outlined in 
detail in Chapter 3. 

Unfortunately for those seeking to maintain the cover-up. James Risen and Doyle 
McManus of the Los Angeles Times became aware of these hidden policy missteps. From 
April through July 1996, they wrote a series of thirteen investigative articles exposing the 
missteps with incredible detail to large numbers of well-placed Administration officials who 
were willing to speak to them on a 'not for attribution' basis/ 

Because the Risen/McManus articles played such an important role in uncovering 
the green light policy and its consequences, their findings are summarized below. 


The Clinton White House was not the first Administration to face the question of 
Iranian arms shipments into Bosnia through Croatia, but its response was the opposit<=> of 

* The following is a chronological listing of the Los Angeles Times (hereinafter 
"LAT") articles: 

Risen and McManus. U S Qk'd Iranian Arms for Bosnia , LAT, Apr. 5, 1996, at 1. 

Risen, Administration Defend s Its QK of Bosnian Arms, LAT, Apr. 6, 1996, at 1. 

Risen, Gin grich Criticizes Clinton Over Bosnia , LAT, Apr. 11, 1996, at 12. 

Risen and McManus, US Envoy May Have Aided Arms Convoy to Bosnia , LAT. 
Apr. 17. 1996, at 1. 

Risen and McManus, US Didn't Anticipate Wider Iran Bosnia Role . LAT. Apr. 23. 
1996. at 1. 

Risen, Administration Defends Bosnian Arms Policy . LAT, Apr. 24. 1996, at 17. 

Risen and McManus. Study of Other Bosnian Amns Sources Told , LAT, Apr. 26. 
1996. at 22. 

Risen and McManus. Democrats Join Critics of Bosnia Amns Secrecy . LAT, May 
2. 1996, at 1. 

Risen and McManus. Terrorist Risk to Americans In Croatia is L inked to Iran . 
May 21. 1996. at 1. 

Risen. Ex-Envoy Says Iran-Bosni a 1 ink Was Worth Risk. LAT. May 22. 1996. at 

Risen. Clinton Defends Arms-to-Bosnia Policy , LAT. May 24. 1996, at 26. 

Risen. US CquM Have Stifled Arms to Bosnia, Envoy Says . LAT. May 31. 1996. 

Risen and McManus. US Had Opttons to Let Bosnia Get Amns. Avokl Iran . LAT. 
July 14. 1996. atl. 

the prior administration's. In September 1992, the Bush Administration discovered that 
Iran was attempting to smuggle arms on board a 747 airplane to Bosnia through Croatia 
in violation of the arms embargo and, according to former Secretary of State Lawrence 
Eagleburger. "raised hell." The Administration acted decisively and had the 747 and the 
weapons seized. According to Secretary Eagleburger, "We made it very clear that we were 
adamantly opposed to this going on. There was no question in the Bush Administration 
of where we were on this subject."* 

Throughout the presidential campaign of 1992. Governor Clinton forcefully and 
repeatedly criticized President Bush for his consistent enforcement of the arms embargo 
and called for the United States to arm the Bosnians. The new Administration, upon taking 
office in 1993, found itself hamstrung. Unfortunately for President Clinton, the same policy 
constraints that faced President Bush ~ unwillingness on the part of the American public 
to commit troops and allied opposition to lifting the embargo -- equally applied to him. By 
the spring of 1994, Clinton's fmstrations were at a peak.* 

While Clinton felt compelled by circumstances to follow President Bush's much- 
criticized path, Iran was also chafing under the policies of containment consistently 
followed by the Bush Administration and, until the green light policy, under President 
Clinton. Iran's radical Islamic government was eager to increase its influence in the 
Balkans and saw the West's refusal to provide weapons to the Bosnian government as an 
opportunity. Though Iran had smuggled a small, insignificant amount of weapons to the 
Bosnian government prior to the outbreak of hostilities between Bosnian Croats and 
Muslims, 'A was their subsequent truce and creation of the Bosnian Federation that set the 
stage for Clinton's green light policy decisions. 

The Proposal 

On April 27, 1994, Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic entered the US embassy 
in Zagreb with a potentially exptosive request: Would Washington accede to Croatia's 
plans to accept Iran's offer to open up a weapons pipeline from Iran into Bosnia? The 
Croatians were split over the question, having yielded to the Bush Administration's 
demands in 1992 that weapons shipments be stopped, and were seeking instnjctions. 
Granic was giving the US advance notice that Croatian Presklent Franjo Tudjman planned 
formally to ask US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith how the United States would 

• LAT. A|)f. 5. 1996. 

• LAT. July 14. 1996. 

respond to new arms shipnnents from Iran. Granic himself was against the idea, a minority 
view in the Croatian government, but was following his orders to seek Washington's 

Ambassador Galbraith had been impatient with the Clinton Administration for not 
doing nrK>re to aid the Bosnian cause, and was strongly in favor of the US allowing the new 
arms shipments. Risen noted that Galbraith had earned his reputation as an activist as a 
staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and had sometimes rankled the 
career officials within the US government in his efforts to expand his role as the first US 
Ambassador to Croatia. It is clear that Galbraith supported the pro-weapons pipeline 
faction within the Croatian government, the most prominent member being Gojko Susak, 
Croatia's Defense Minister and Tudjman's right-hand man.' 

Though the Administration thought the green light decision "obvious" and 
insignificant at the time, a senior US diplomat would later acknowledge that the pipeline 
probably would not have been established if the United States had opposed it forcefully." 
Peter Galbraith would later testify. * I can say that had we in a very, very forceful way made 
it clear that we would not tolerate the flow of arms to the Bosnians, they probably would 
not have done it When we did not object, they proceeded to go ahead and do it."* 

The Decision 

While most diplomatic exchanges require days, if not weeks or months, to 
coordinate and yet, this request for instructions reached President Clinton in a matter of 
hours. The first recipient of the cable was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alexander 
Vershbow, who refen^ the question to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and 
National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, who were travelling with Clinton to Nixon's funeral 
in Yorba Linda, California. 

Talbott and Lake agreed on the solution: Do nothing. Galbraith was to give the 
coded response of 'no instructions,' whk:h wouM tell the Croatians that the US would not 
act to stop the shipments. Lake asked for 20 minutes of Preskient Clinton's time and was 
ushered into Clinton's office atx>ard Air Force One. James Risen described the meeting 


•LAT. May 31. 1996. 


as follows: 'Lake ran [the President) through the pros and cons and said, This is our 
recommendation . . . ." And he said 'yes' a senior ofTicial recounted. There was little 
discussion and no serious debate. It seemed like 'an obvious choice.' the official said."^" 

No other officials even at the highest levels of the US government were consulted 
before the green light was given to the Iranian arms transfers. In addition, the Central 
Intelligence Agency, whose purpose is to protect national security by evaluating information 
on political and military developments abroad, was never offlcially notified of the policy." 

As a result of this closed and truncated decision-making process, US offidals would 
later admit they gave little thought back in 1994 to the chance that Iran's political and 
military presence would grow in Bosnia as it did. A senior Administration official would 
concede they did not focus on the problem until the prospect of US troops going in was 
raised in 1995." 

T he Alternati ves 

For the first two weeks following the breaking of the story, the Administration spin 
was that "there were no altematives" to allowing the Iranian arms transfers, and that the 
decisk>n was "obvious." Further research showed, however, that far from being forced" 
into approving the arms transfers, the White House had actively rejected multiple calls for 
having nations friendly to the United States supply weapons to the Bosnians. The 
Administration rejected these equally effective alternative means of arming the Bosnians 
even though they would have negated the chance of increasing Iranian influence in 

The first such suggestion was made by Richard Holbrooke several nrtonths after the 
green light decision. In the fall of 1994. Holbrooke sought a legal opinion from State 
Department attorneys asking what diplomatic approaches to friendly nations coukj t>e 
made without triggering US covert action laws requiring Congress to be notified. 
Holbrooke thought that the unequal battlefield conditions feced by the Muslims in Bosnia 

'• IJ^T. July 14. 1996. 


" LAT. Apr. 23. 1996. 

" LAT. July 14. 1996. 

could be eased if friendly nations would covertly supply the weapons with American 

When news of this proposal reached the upper levels of govemment, Holbrooke was 
rebuffed. According to Risen, Anthony Lake thought the idea was "too risky,' and 
Secretary of State Warren Christopher was also opposed." Indeed, Risen would write 
that, 'senior administration officials opposed Holbrooke's plan because they feared that 
covert smuggling by friendly nations woukl make it too obvious the United States was 
encouraging the violation of a UN arms embargo against Bosnia.'** 

In a July 1996 article. Risen and McManus would document other altematives to the 
failed green light policy that were rejected by the Clinton Administration. They would note 
that at least three times between 1993 and 1995, discussions were held about asking 
friendly countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan to move weapons and 
support to the Bosnians. The nxxjel for such aid existed before in the 1980s when Saudi 
Arabia served as the conduit between the US and the anti-Soviet Afghan insurgency. 

Galbraith hinj gelf had suggeste^^ using friendly intermediaries in late 1993. He 
reportedly asked theMHHHBBiplin his embassy how much it would cost to begin 
L covert o perqtipn to'aid the Bosnians, wondering if $250 million would be enough.*' The 
jVwas surprised by the request, advis e^jGalbraith that §y ch an actkjn would 
be illegal without formal authorization, and wamedf^WM^W Wp n Washington that 
Galbraith was thinking along these lines, /^i^ ^' - 

Th e Consequences 

Among the negative consequences of the green light policy and how it was 
implemented, as kientified by Risen arKl McManus. are the confusion it caused within the 
US government, the resultant iiKrease in Irania.n influence in the former Yugoslavia, and 
concerns that, beneath the Administratkxi's obfuscatk>n of the polk:y. there may have been 
an Illegal covert actkm. 

A. Policy ConfiiskMi 


" LAT. Apr. 26. 1996. 

" LAT. July 14. 1996. 


There was considerable confusion among Administration officials throughout the 
whole process. Very little time elapsed and even less thought took place from the time the 
original query was made to Galbraith until Lake met with the President on Air Force One. 
Even after receiving the "no instructions' instruction, Galbraith himself was still unclear 
what action to take. According to Risen, Galbraith called Jenonne Walker, the National 
Security Council's chief European expert, who told him Lake had indicated he was to stick 
to "no instructions," but she added, Tony was smiling when he said it."" 

Not only were other appropriate agencies of the US government not consulted, they 
were not advised of the decisk^n once it was made. N QJlber the CIA nor the Pentagon 
were informed of the policy change. Accordingly, the j^PIHIBHIIB^in Zagreb 
continued to be under the impressbn that the official policy of the United States was to 
support the arms embargo, the same positk)n which Assistant Secretary of State Talt>ott 
would also lead CIA Director James Woolsey to believe was still valkj. The CIA continued 
to collect informatkjn on embargo busting and became increasingly mystified at the US 
government's unwillingness to act on that intelligence. The CIA woukj never be informed, 
and, as the evidence grew tfiat Oirecto^VV^plsey had been deliberately kept in the 6atk, 
he resigned in December 1994. 

B. Increased Iranian Influence 

The most troubling consequence of the green light policy was the resultant 
exponential expansion of Iranian influence in Bosnia. Risen's sources helped him paint 
the folk>wing assessment of Iranian influence before and after the green light 

Western intelligence agencies detected several hundred militant Muslim 
guerillas from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in Bosnia as eariy as 
1992. offictals sakl, including several "Afghanis," veterans of the CIA-funded 
war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. But these were largely 
ragtag volunteers, with no readRy apparent command and control from Iran 
or anyone else.'* 

In 1994. however, a different kind of Iranian was showing up in Bosnia, officials said: 

. . . military and dvflian advisors who appeared to have been sent i>y the 


'• l-AT. Apr. 23. 1996. 

Tehran government on well-defined missions. Some were military trainers 
who taught the Bosnians how to use the wire-guided antitank missiles Iran 
was shipping, one source said. Others helped with logistics and with 
weapons factories, according to the Bosnian government.^* 

Ambassador Galbraith himself noted that the difference was like night and day. 
'Certainly what was being talked about in April 1 994 was something very substantially 
greater"^ than what had been shipped by Iran previously. Risen would elat>orate: 

From May 1994 to January 1996, the Iranians shipped more than 5,000 tons 
of arms to Bosnia through the Croatian pipeline. They provided the largest 
portion by far of Bosnia's military hardware - two thirds by official US 
estimates. The Iranians delivered mostly small arms and equipment, 
including rifles, ammunition, and uniforms but also antitank weapons and 
shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles - weapons that could threaten 
aircraft, including US aircraft 

Other countries 6id supply weapons to Bosnia without US encouragement 

But Iran was the largest supplier by far. By early 1995 the Iranian flights 

were landing as often as three times a week. The arms pipeline was 
managed largely by the Revolutionary Guards, Iran's militant Islamic shock 
corps, operating out of the Iranian embassy in Zagreb. Other Revolutk>nary 
Guard officers moved to Bosnia to serve as military advisors and trainers. 
The Bosnian Government's intelligence servk:e and intemal security forces 
soon had Iranian advisors too. To both secular Bosnians and US intelligence 
analysts, this was a worrisome trend: creeping Iranian influence in what once 
had been a multiethnic, secular state.^ 

The former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who had himself worked in 
the Balkans for several years as a US diplomat, declared the increase in radical Islamk: 
support in Bosnia as a major bksw to the national security of the United States. He referred 
to it as the height of insanity. We are inviting Bosnian-Islamic connections with a terrorist 


'^ LAT, July 14. 1996. 


state that wishes us as much damage as they [sic] can possibly inflict upon us."'^ 

Of even nnore concern to the United States and the families of American servicemen 
deployed in Bosnia is the terrorist threat that materialized in Bosnia under the green light 
policy. Risen gave two examples in his articles of the increase in the terorist threat, but 
alluded to having more information than he reported. 

In February 1995, NATO troops raided a "ten-orist training school" at which they 
arrested eight Bosnian and three Iranian "diplomats,' who quickly invoked diplomatic 
immunity and flew back to Iran. Items seized in the raid included bomb devices within 
shampoo bottles and children's toys and a training video showing how to ambush a car on 
an open highway and to kill its occupants.^ 

In an even more ominous sign, American embassy officials in Zagreb and Croatia 
became aware in 1995 of suspected Hizballah (Party of God) members stalking embassy 
personnel and their families. Suspected Iranian terrorists were seen with video cameras 
recording Americans as they came and went. Officials feared that an attack was imminent 
and one official confirmed the terrorist threafwent right up the scale to levels you would 
see in preparation for an attack."'* 

C. Possible Illegal Covert Action 

The final consequence of the Administration's giving the green light to the Iranian 
arms pipeline was the chance that actions taken by US government officials crossed the 
legal line from what the Administration terms as passive, i.e., 'no instructions,* to a 
concrete act which might reasonably be constnjed by foreign officials as an invitation to 
conduct covert action. Under US law, covert action is illegal unless it has been authorized 
by the President and reported to Congress. 

According to Risen's sources, there were two instances when Administratk>n officials 
came objectively dose to the legal line. The first case occurred in May 1994 vAren Special 
Envoy to the former Yugoslavia Charles Redman intervened with senior Croatian 
government officials to expedite the movement into Bosnia of a blocked convoy that is 

" LAT. Apr. 5. 1996. 

** LAT. Apr. 23. 1996. 


LAT. May 21. 1996. 


believed to have carried arms to the Muslim government troops. Redman claims to have 
never asked whether arms were being carried, but US officials now acknowledge that 
questions could be raised whether the Administration had gone beyond passive support 
for the Bosnian cause and taken on a more active role.^^ 

The second case occurred in September of 1 995 when a shipment of Iranianl 
missiles bound for Bosnia was detained in Croatia because the Croatian govejg ment 
nervous that the missiles were tipped with chemical warheads.'* Experts fror 
the US Army rapidly moved to inspect the missiles, determined that they were not ( 
chemical or biological warheads, and then permitted them to be delivered into Bosnia.'' 
Some US officials wer^^ncemed that in this action the US had directly violated the UN 
arms embargo.'^! ' 

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board (lOB) was secretly commissioned on 
November 29, 1994 to investigate the green light policy and to determine if any covert 
action laws were violated. The lOB's classified report sharply criticized the Administration 
for excessive secrecy but determined that notification of Congress was not necessary. The 
Administration's actions, according to the lOB. fell within the category of traditional 
diplomatic activity." exempt from US covert action laws." 

The lOB investigation had the potential to put the matter to rest, but raised 
questions of its own. Moreover, the White House, even after receiving the report, failed 
to advise Congress of the green light policy. What made the situation worse in the minds 
of many in Congress was the decision by the Administration in April 1996, after the story 
was out. to bar lOB Chairman Anthony Harrington from sharing the report with Congress 
or testifying about it under oath." Suspicions were heightened. 

The Congressional Response 

*LAT,Apr. 17. 1996. 

" LAT. July 14. 1996. 

"LAT, May 21, 1996. 



* LAT. Apr. 17. 1996. 


The congressional response to the revelations alx3ut the green light affair was 
strong. Senior Democrats joined Republicans in denouncing the Clinton Administration's 
failure to consult with or notify Congress of the important change in policy towards Iran and 
the arms embargo. It was only this wellspring of bipartisan condemnation that prompted 
the Administration to admit that it should have consulted Congress. Undersecretary of 
State Peter Tamoff acknowledged that he was unaware of any congressional notification, 
and an Administration ofTicial admitted that "there is a growing understanding in the 
Administration that in terms of Congress, this could have been handled better."" 

In the two years between when the green light policy went into effect and when it 
was uncovered, there had been innumerable meetings between Members of Congress and 
senior Administration officials discussing policy options on lifting the arms embargo on 
Bosnia. The failure of the Administration to mention the green light policy in any of these 
discussions can only be intentional. 

A week after the green light decision was made, Deputy Secretary of State Talbott 
responded to a lengthy list of specific questions on Bosnia that had been submitted by 
Republican Senator John Warner. In his letter to Senator Warner, Talbott warned that 
lifting the embargo, as many favored in Congress, could lead to an increased Iranian 
presence in Bosnia. Taltx>tt did not mention that he had just taken part in a policy decision 
that would bring Iranians streaming into the region." 

In midsummer 1994. Democratic Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services 
Committee, Sam Nunn met with Charles Redman, then chief US negotiator in the Balkans, 
to discuss ways of aiding the Bosnian cause. Redman failed to mention the fact that the 
Administration had already made the green light decision. "I don't ever recall anybody in 
the Administration telling me anything attcut that," noted Nunn after the cover-up came to 
light in 1996." Senator Nunn later reflected on the Administration's keeping Congress in 
the dark, "It seems to me the question is whether Congress should have been informed. 
not so much as a matter of taw but as a matter of comity." ^ In response. Ambassador 

»'LAT. May2. 1996. 




Redman could only say, "It never came up."'* 

Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, speaking on the floor of the Senate, observed: 

While we read and heard reports that Iran was smuggling arms to the 
Bosnians, we did not know the President and his advisers made a conscious 
decision to give a green light for Iran to provide arms. Indeed, those of us 
who advocated lifting the arms embargo ~ Republicans ana Democrats - 
argued that if America did not provide Bosnia with assistance, Iran would be 
Bosnia's only option. " 

Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott offered another response in defense of the 
Administration: Since the press was reporting on Iranian arms shipments. Congress was 
properiy informed. Democratic Senator Robert Kerrey sharply rebutted the argument. "Do 
you think. Mr. Secretary . . . that Congress getting its information through what really was 
half a dozen newspaper accounts in 1994 constitutes knowing more or less what you 
knew?"*^ Senator Ken^y also observed that for Congress to do its job properly, it must be 
kept informed by the Executive Branch, particularly in the area of foreign policy. "Certainly. 
you don't want us reaching a conclusion every time we pick up the newspaper or hear a 
news account of something temble going on and knee jerk, particularly when its a foreign 
policy question."'' 



142 Cong. Rec. S 3445 (No. 49. Apr. 17. 1996) (Statement of Sen. Robert 

'^ Hearing on US Actions Regarding Iranian Arms Shipments Into Bosnia Before 
the Senate Selert Cnmmittee on Intelligence , 104th Cong. (May 28. 1996). Sen. 
Kerrey also addressed this issue In the first SSCI Hearing on the Iranian Arms 
Transfers: *. . . The Washington Times talks about a wink, that there were discussions 
in the press, that we're aware as well as the consequences of our having changed the 
law to say that we're not going to enforce that embargo, that doesn't mean that we were 

informed, that the committee was informed of a change in policy * Hearing On 

I ranian Arms Shi pments tr> Rnsnia Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence , 
104th Cong. (May 21. 1996). 

** Hearing n n Iranian Arms Shipments to Bosnia Before the Senate Select 
Committee on IntalligenrA , 104th Cong. (May 21. 1996). 


House Speaker Newt Gingrich described the chilling effect the cover-up of the green 
light has had on trust between the executive and legislative branches of government: 

Never did Clinton indicate the Administration had given a green light to 
Iranian arms smuggling .... If you have been told face to face by the 
President of the United States for three years that you can't help the 
Bosnians and now you learn after all these face-to-face meetings that they 
were encouraging the Iranians, giving the Iranian arms shipments a wink and 
a fKxJ, then how do you walk into the next meeting and believe what you are 
being told?^» 

Throughout, the congressk^nal reactions to the uncovering of the green light policy 
was outrage that the Administration had given Iran, the rogue state most actively hostile 
to US interests around the world, a sanctioned foothold in Europe from which h could 
launch terrorist campaigns against US personnel across Europe. Congressman Henry 
Hyde, for example, warned that the policy had to be examined and could not remain 
'buried behind classified documents.' He was of the view that "the introductbn of the most 
radical nation in the worid . . . into the Balkans in force with weapons to give them a 
foothold in that most volatile part of the worid is incredible folly.' He wondered, as many 
have since, why the Administration had not chosen readily available and far nmre palatable 
means of assisting the Bosnians, means that would not endanger the safety of the 
American people. There were some dozen countries,' Hyde explained, that could 
reasonably be asked to provide weapons for the Bosnians - not Iran."*" 

A strong majority in Congress was also incredulous that the Administration would 
violate its own declared policy of containing Iran in favor of inviting the radical terrorist 
regime into the Balkans. Congressman Christopher Cox would speak for many when he 
denounced the Administration's decision to give the green light. "This policy was 
absolutely insane,* he noted. 'Giving Iran a foothold into Europe .... That's what this 
policy is about. "^^ In particular, a great many Members of Congress would express their 
concern over the increased terrorist threat to US and NATO troops resulting from the 

"•LAT. Apr. 11. 1996. at 12. 

*° Hearing on US Policy in Bosnia Before the House Internation al Relations 
Committee. 104th Cong. (Apr. 23, 1996). 

*' Risen. House Qk's Panel to Prohe Anms to Bosnia . Los Angeles Times. May 9. 
1996. at 5. 


expanded Iranian influence in Bosnia, a threat the Administration chose to overlook. 

Yet, not all Members of Congress, particularly in the House, were upset by the 
revelation of the green light policy. Congressman Alcee Hastings spoke for many of them 
when he publicly thanked Ambassadors Galbraith and Redman for their efforts in putting 
together the green light policy: 

A central criticism of the "no instructions" policy that you two gentlertien have 
testified here about allows that, according to some, it permitted the 
dangerous military and intelligence penetration of Bosnia by Iran. 

Yet we know just from using open, public sources, the United States 
decisions in April of 1994 dk) not give Iran a beachhead in Bosnia; Iran and 
other Muslim countries were already there. And I might add for historians 
and the buffs of history, Islam has been involved in the Balkans since fights 
with the Ottoman empire, if we just want to go back into K . . . . And any 
Congressperson that did not know all of that, that serves on the Committee 
on International Relations, was not doing his or her job."** 

The Genesis and Charter of the Select Subcommittee 

The controversy over the secret green light policy culminated in calls for legislative 
investigations. The House of Representatives' Committees on International Relations. 
National Security. Intelligence, and Judiciary began investigations probing the 
Administration's green light policy in April and May of 1996. At the urging of his Senate 
colleagues. Senate Majority Leader Dole called upon the Chairmen of the Senate Foreign 
Relations. Intelligence. Armed Services, and Judiciary Committees for parallel 

During initial hearings hekj by the House Intemational Relatk>ns Committee, many 
questions were raised that demarKJed further examination: 

• Was the US government directly or indirectly involved in the executk)n of the 

transfer of Iranian anms, and dkj any of the Administration's actions violate 
US law? 

" Hearing on US Policy in Bosnia Before the House International Relations 
Committee , 104th Cong. (Apr. 23, 1996). 


• Where did the idea of an Iranian pipeline originate and with whom? 

• Why were Congress, the CIA and other government agencies. US allies, and 
the American public not notified of this decision when it was made or in the 
nearly two years until the policy was exposed by the press? 

• And. why did the President allow the world's most dangerous terrorist state. 
Iran, to provide arms and establish a foothold in Europe when other friendly 
nations were willing to help? 

In an effort to consolidate the investigations of the four House committees and to 
further examine these questions, the House leadership and the International Relations 
Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman announced a proposal to establish a Select 
Subcommittee to investigate the United States' role in the transfer of arms from Iran to 
Bosnia and Croatia during the period when the international arms embargo was in effect. 
On May 8. 1996. the House approved Resolution 416 which created the Select 
Subcommittee within the International Relations Committee. The Subcommittee is 
composed of five Republican Members and three Democrat Members, and is chaired by 
Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, with Lee H. Hamilton as the Ranking Minority Member. 

The Select Subcommittee was given the authority to investigate the following areas: 

• The policy of the United States Government with respect to the transfer of 
arms and other assistance from Iran or any other country to countries or 
entities within the territory of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 
during any period that an intemational arms embargo was in effect; 

• The nature and extent of the transfer of arms or other assistance from Iran 
or any other country to countries or entities within the territory of the former 
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the period that an intemational arms 
embargo of the former Yugoslavia was in effect; 

• Any actions taken by the United States Government to fadlitate or to impede 
such transfers; 

• Any communication or representations made to the Congress of the United 
States or the American people with respect to the intemational arms 
emttargo or with efforts to modify or terminate United States participation in 
that emt>argo; 


• Any implications from the Iranian amis transfers for the safety of United 
States armed forces deployed in or around Bosnia, for relations t>etween the 
US and its allies and for United States efforts to isolate Iran; 

• And all deliberations and communications between the United States 
Government and other govemments, organizations or individuals relating to 
such matters. 

The Sut)Commrttee's charter ends on November 8. 1 996. by which time tt is to have 
transmitted its report to the House Intemational Relations Committee. Given its short life- 
span and limited resources, the Subcommittee has attempted to address as many of the 
key questions as possible. What follows are the results of the Subcommittee's 




The events discussed in this report mainly occurred during and after April 1994. To 
understand these events, hov/ever, it is necessary to have a basic familiarity with the 
political developments in the former Yugoslavia prior to that date. 

The autocratic aile of Yugoslav dictator Tito after World War II suppressed but did 
not eliminate the strongly divergent and divisive ethnic and religious tensions that have 
existed for hundreds of years between the various peoples living within the borders of what 
was Yugoslavia. These rivalries reemerged after Tito's death in 1980, and the centrifugal 
pull of ethnic identities led to inceasingly bitter arguments over the scope and powei$ o: 
the central govemment. Unable to convince Sertiia and Montenegro that a loose 
confederation was a viable alternative to the existing SertxJominated govemment, 
Slovenia and Croatia proclaimed their independence on June 25, 1991. Further 
complicating the situation, several Sertxiominated regions of Croatia declared 
independence from the new republic. 

The central Yugoslavian govemment based in Belgrade, Serbia promptly declared 
the Slovenia and Croatia secessions 'illegal and illegitimate" and sent the Yugoslav 
Peoples' Army (YPA) to restore control over the breakaway regions. Hostilities broke out 
when the Croatian and Slovenian forces refused to lay down their arms. The fighting 
continued until the Brioni agreennent was finalized in eariy July 1 991 . 

The Brioni agreement called for the immediate cessation of hostilities in exchange 
for a three-month suspension of the declarations of independence by Croatia and Slovenia. 
The YPA soldiers began immediately to withdraw from Slovenia, where the Slovenian 
irregulars had t)een able to hokj their own. Despite the agreement, however, the fighting 
continued within Croatia t>etween the newly independent republic and the Krajina Serbs 
backed by the YPA forces. 

In September 1991. the UN Security Council, through Resolution 713. enacted a 
general and complete arms embargo over the former Yugoslavia to try to temper the 
conflict. In Octot>er 1991. the three-nfK>nth moratorium on secession elapsed, and the 
govemments of Stovenia and Croatia formally separated from the former Yugoslavia. 
Germany recognized both countries as sovereign nations in December 1991. The 
European Community (EC) followed suit in January 1992. 


As Slovenia and Croatia were leaving the former Yugoslavia, a more bitter and 
protracted conflict was developing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. On October 14, 1991, the 
National Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina passed, by majority vote, a memorandum on 
sovereignty and independence which stopped just short of declaring outright 
independence. The following December 21st. the Bosnian Serbs held an unofficial 
referendum declaring their opposition to withdrawing from the withering Socialist Federal 
Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). and local Serbian leaders proclaimed their independence 
from Bosnia. 

Following the lead of Slovenia and Croatia, Bosnia's Muslim and Croat citizens 
voted for independence in a March 1992 referendum. The Serbs boycotted. On April 6, the 
EC recognized the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The following day, the US 
recognized the nations of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and lifted the 
economic sanctions against the >hree republics. 

The Bosnian Serb minority vigorously opposed the withdrawal of Bosnia- 
Herzegovina from the mmp SFRY that was rapidly becoming a de facto Serbian state. The 
Bosnian Serbs withdrew from Bosnia-Herzegovina into their self-proclaimed "Serbian 
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.* 

Fighting between the Serbs and the Muslinrvdominated Bosnian govemment 
ensued. The Bosnian Serbs soon seized more than two-thirds of the Bosnian republic's 
territory and began the siege of Sarajevo. The Serbs managed their successes despite 
the fact that, according to a 1991 census, they comprised only 31 percent of the 
population, with the Muslims and Croatians having 44 and 17 percent, respectively.^ Two 
key reasons the Bosnian Serbs gained such an advantage over the Bosnian Muslims so 
quickly were that the withdrawing YPA relinquished its large arsenal of weapons to the 
Bosnian Serb forces as it withdrew and that the YPA soldiers with a Bosnian Serb 
background stayed behind to become a formidable part of the new Bosnian Serb officer 

While the Bosnian Serbs and Muslims were fighting, the Bosnian Croatians were 

^ According to the Congressional Research Service, the eight percent of the 
population unaccounted for in these percentages comprises various other ethnk: 
groups, none of which number more than 1 percent of the total population. Additionally, 
the 1991 census aflowed a "Yugoslavian' response for individuals of mixed parentage 
(5.5%) and others who declined to identify themseh/es as belonging to only one ethnic 


working to consolidate their positions in western Bosnia in their desired mini-state, Herceg- 
Bosnia, which they would proclaim in July 1992. The Bosnian Croatians, much like Croatia, 
would change sides in the Bosnian conflict as the circumstances affected their interests, 
supporting the Muslim government at this time, then later moving towards the Bosnian 
Serbs, until shifting again towards the Muslim government when the 1994 Washington 
Accords established the Bosnian Federation. 

On May 30, 1992, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 757. The resolution 
condemned the SFRY's defiance of UN demands that it cease its interference in the affairs 
of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and placed an economic embargo on the Federal Republic of 
Yugoslavia until it fulfilled rts obligations under Resolution 752. Resolution 752, which was 
passed two weeks earlier on May 1 5. called for an end to the fighting in Bosnia, elimination 
of influence and forces from both the YPA and Croatia, and respect for the territorial 
integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

Notwithstanding the UN's efforts, the war continued into the summer. In August 
1992. representatives from over 30 countries and nongovemmental organizations met in 
London at the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia to bring about a 
negotiated end to the fighting. The London Conference, co-sponsored by the EC and the 
UN, named Lord David Owen and Cyrus Vance co-chairmen of the EC-UN steering 
committee. The Conference affirmed the principle that intemational boarders should be 
changed only by mutual consent, and called for a cease fire, access to detention camps 
(by intemational organizations such as UN High Commission on Refugees or the Red 
Cross), and the protection of human and minority rights. Unfortunately, the London 
Conference, like the resolution before it. had little effect on the violence on the ground. 
Finally, on August 31. Cyrus Vance announced that all parties had already violated the 
terms of the Conference, including the cease-fire, which they had approved just days 

The Geneva Peace Conference was held the following month, for the purpose of 
developing means of implementing the ksfty principles declared by the LorxJon Conference. 
The Geneva Conference, urxler the co-chairmanship of Vance and Owen, established six 
working groups focusing on the nrx^st pressing issues confronting the former Yugoslavia: 
Bosnia-Herzegovina, confidence-building measures, humanitarian issues, economic 
problems, mirwrity rights and various othpr legal issues. 


Croats, who shut it down. The Iranians wece forced to return to their small-scale arms 

Croats, who shut it down. The iranign^wete 
smuggling and training efforts. '^^OTT^^ 

In October 1992. negotiators Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen advanced their plan (the 
"Vance-Owen" plan) to settle the conflict. Their plan was to establish a decentralized state 
with seven to ten autonomous provinces defined by economic and geographic, rather than 
ethnic, criteria. The Bosnian Serb leadership promptly rejected the plan the following day. 

In response to the Bosnian Serbs, Vance and Owen reworked their plan several 
times, and in January 1993 the Bosnian Croats approved the measure. The Bosnian 
Muslims followed suit in March. On May 2, Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic 
signed the plan under intense pressure by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Two 
days later, the Bosnian Serb Parliament rejected the plan, and the Vance-Owen process 
was finished. 

There was no hiding the viciousness of the fighting. Genocide was frequently 
alleged by the combatants and. as the worid discovered more and more about the 
atrocities toeing inflicted by all sides, the Security Council passed Resolution 808 in 
February 1 993. establishing the War Crimes Tribunal. In support of the Resolution, the EC. 
the UN staff and the US State Department submitted reports documenting the crimes of 
systematic rape, murder, mutilation, deportation, illegal imprisonment, and "ethnic 
cleansing' by all parties. 

All three sides committed a great many atrocities during this conflict upon 
Innocents, but it appears the Bosnian Sert>s were the most egregious in their violations of 
human rights. It was the Bosnian Serb leadership that set the war aim of creating an 
ethnically "pure" and geographically contiguous greater Serbia by (seemingly) any means 
necessary. Unfortunately, it will be future historians who will have to render a more 
complete accounting of the genocide which occurred. 

In May 1993, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic warned of a "new aggression' by 
Bosnian Croatians, and relations between the Bosnian Muslims and Croatians steadily 
worsened. As the fighting intensified around the city of Mostar and throughout central 
Bosnia, both sides engaged in atrocities and 'ethnic cleansing' to solidify gains made on 
the battjefield. 

Also that May. the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 824, which 
declared that Sarajevo, Bihac, Srebrenica, Tuzia, Gorazde. and Zepa should be treated 
as 'safe areas* and that all Bosnian Serb military units should withdraw from those areas 
at once. The Security Council foHowed up this declaration on June 4, 1993 with Resolution 


836 extending the mandate of UN Protection Forces and authorized measures, including 
use offeree, to protect these "safe areas.' By February of 1994, the situation on the ground 
had become intolerable for the NATO leadership as the Bosnian Serbs oven-an Srebrenica 
and Zepa and besieged and shelled the others, creating appalling humanitarian conditions. 
Serbian actions had made a mockery of the term 'safe area.' 

The catalyst for increased international action came when a mortar shell landed in 
a crowded Sarajevo market on February 5. 1994, killing 68 and wounding over 200 
civilians. The following day, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali lifted his 
opposition to air strikes and asked NATO Secretary General Manfred W5emer to seek 
permission from the North Atlantic Council to secure a heavy weapons exclusion zone 
around Sarajevo. President Clinton supported the Secretary General's call for air strikes 
should more vralence against civilians occur. On April 10, the NATO Alliance, in its first 
offensive action since its founding, launched air strikes against Serb positions which had 
been shelling Gorazde relentlessly. A second strike the following day helped bring the 
Bosnian Serb advance to a halt, although the Sert)s maintained control over a large 
percentage of the territory acquired in their advance. 

The Serbs had also been put on less advantageous terms by the Washington 
Accords reached the month before, in March, between the Bosnian Muslims and the 
Croats. The Accords set up a Federation which, in addition to relieving military pressure 
on the hard-pressed Muslims, put the Serbs in a difficult strategic situation. The Croats 
were now freed up to begin preparatk>ns for a major offensive to retake the Krajina, and 
the Muslims were able to shore up their defenses and keep other Bosnian Serb units 
engaged elsewhere in Bosnia. 

This was, in brief, the situatk>n in the regbn in April 1994, when Iran again sought 
to interject itself into the war on a large scale. 




This chapter will examine the Clinton Administration's public policy on the UN arms 
embargo on Bosnia. Starting with the formulation of the Iranian green light policy in April 
1994, the actual policy became very different from what the Administration represented it 
to be in its statements to Congress, the press, and the American people. As is discussed 
in Section II of this report, where the development and implementation of the Iranian green 
light policy are discussed at length, the Administration went to extraordinary lengths to 
keep Its diplomatic duplicity under wraps. Senior Administration officials were intent that 
there should be no US fingerprints.' In the public realm, this went beyond the usual 
practice of offering "no comment' on allegations of US covert activity; instead. 
Administration officials from the President on down lied. 

Some have criticized the Clinton Administration for a lack of consistency in foreign 
policy. While this charge coukl be leveled at several aspects of its Balkans policy, it would 
largely be unfair in describing the Administration's public record on the Bosnian arms 

Regarding the embargo, the Administration consistently expressed its opposition to 
the embargo while also consistently stating its unwillingness to take unilateral action to lift 
it. The concept of unQateral actk>n by the US was fundamentally inconsistent with the 
'assertive multilateralism' that became the centerpiece of the Administration's foreign 
policy. Assertive multilateralism rests on a high regard for the UN as an instrument of 
foreign policy, a professton of the moral obligation to follow the spirit and letter of 
international law. arHJ the imperative of multilateral cooperation. In its public statements 
about the arms embargo, the Administration never deviated from the positk>ns necessitated 
by these principles, despite the fact that the Administratk>n leamed within days of taking 
office that assertive multilateralism effectively tied its hands in working to lift the embargo 
it t>elieved to be against US interests. It was this quandary that would, in April 1994, lead 
the Administration to subvert the embargo clandestinely through third parties, specifically 
Iran and Croatia. 

The Administration's Sea Legs: The Idealism of "Assertive Multilateralism" 

Although foreign poikry was not a centerpiece of Bill Clinton's preskJential campaign. 
Bosnia was an exception. Candklate Clinton condemned the Bush Administration's polk^ 
of nonintervention, "The continuing bkxxlshed in Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia 


demands urgent international action It is time for real leadership to stop the continuing 

tragedy in the former Yugoslav republics.** He expressed confidence that, as president, 
he could define a policy, working jointly with other countries and the UN, that would stop 
the fighting and lead to a peace settlement. "We will make the United States the catalyst 
for a collective stand against aggression, the action I have urged in response to Serbian 
aggression in Bosnia.'^ He provided some specificity in the first presidential debate in 
October 1992: 

I agree that we cannot commit ground forces to become involved in the 
quagmire of Bosnia or in the tribal wars of Somalia. But I think that it's 
important to recognize that there are things that can be done short of that, 
and that we do have an interest there .... I think we should stiffen the 
embargo on the Belgrade govemment, and I think we have to consider 
whether or not we should lift the arms embargo now on the Bosnians, since 
they are in no way in a fair fight with a heavily armed opponent bent on 
"ethnic cleansing.* We can't get involved in the quagmire, but we must do 
what we can.^ 

And, as Governor Clinton would repeatedly stress, "what we can do" meant what we can 
do in tandem with others, that is to say, within the framework of assertive multilateralism. 

As might be expected, consklering her key role in implementing multilateral foreign 
policy, US Ambassador to the UN and cabinet member Madeleine Albright became one 
of the preeminent public advocates of assertive multilateralism. As she has explained it, 
the US has three roles it can play internationally: "world cop," "ostrich," or "partner," and 
the Clinton Administratk>n prefers the role of partner. As Ambassador Albright explained: 

The fancy word is 'multilateral.' but the ordinary word is 'partner.' I fully 
believe it is my job at the U.N. and the job of all of us within the foreign poficy 
structure to put an adjective with the partrier - senk>r. managing, leading, 
whatever way you want to phrase it So the tenn assertive multilateralism 
comes from having a leadership role within a multilateral setting to deal with 

* Clinton Campaign Statement on Crisis tn Bosnia. US Newswine. July 27. 1992. 

' Governor Bill Clinton. Address at the Los Angeles Worid Affairs Council (Aug. 
13. 1992). 

' Governor Bill Clinton. Address in the Presklential Debate (Oct. 11. 1992). 


the problems that we have to deal with/ 

Bosnia, for the Clinton Administration, is exactly such a problem; one of those many 
occasions when, in the words of George Stephanopoulos, "we need to bring pressure to 
bear on the belligerents of the post-Cold War period and use our influence to prevent 
ethnic and other regional conflicts from erupting. But usually we will not want to act alone 
— our stake will be limited and direct U.S. intervention unwise."' 

The weeks leading up to the inauguration in January 1993 saw the start of new UN- 
sponsored diplomatic talks on Bosnia in New York. These talks fed the hopes of the new 
Clinton foreign policy team, anxious to exercise its policy of multilateralism, as well as the 
hope of an American populace sickened by the viciousness of the fighting. 

The heady days of transition brought forth within the new Administration 
declarations of major reviews of Bosnian policy altematives and the strong desire for 
"improved" options.' Nonetheless, in the case of the former Yugoslavia, these 
deliberations inevitably led back to Clinton's policy as declared in the election campaign. 
Secretary of State Warren Christopher, speaking in January 1993 said, "I would stress, as 
President Clinton has, starting last August, that it [Bosnia] does seem to be a place where 
the United States needs to be activist and internationalist in our outlook."' 

International Political Reality: The Europeans Say "No" 

Yet, once in office. President Clinton found the Bosnian problem much more 
complex and intractable than he anticipated as a candidate. Despite the rhetorical 
flourishes and talk of change, practical changes in the policy from that of the Bush 

* Hearing on US Participation In United Nations Peacekeeping Activities Before 
the House Committee on Foreign Affairs . 103d Cong. (June 24,1993). 

* Thomas W. LIppman, African Crises Test Limited US Governmen t; Pressure 
Builds for More Direct American Intervention as Five Nations Suffer Strife , Washington 
Post. June 13, 1993. at A33. 

* Carol Giacomo. Clinton to Review Bosnia Policy. Including Lifting the Arms 
Ban. The Reuter Library Report. Jan. 22, 1993. 

^ Alan Eisner. US Looking at Option of Bombing Bosnian Serb Airfields , The 
Reuter Library Report. Jan. 27. 1993. 


Administration were difficult to discern. Leaving the new Administration's first Bosnia policy 
review. Secretary Christopher counseled the press to "lower expectations," particulariy "in 
terms of timing."' Where candidate Clinton had been calling for "urgent" international 
action, President Clinton was now urging caution: 

The thing I have not been willing to do is to immediately take action, the end 
of which I could not see. I want to do - whatever I want to do, I want to do 
it with vigor and wholeheartedly. I want it to have a reasonable prospect of 
success, and I have done the best I could with the cards that I found on the 
table when I became President.' 

Given the President's desire to act "w\\h vigor and wholeheartedly," it was still not 
clear what he wanted to do. Yet. it was also clear that he did not know what it was he 
wanted to do. Some criticized the Clinton Administration for lacking the political will to 
enact a policy change. Democratic Congressman Frank McCioskey accused the 
Administration of being an accomplice in genocide in Bosnia, stating that "when it comes 
to real action to get the arms embargo lifted from the Bosnian Government, the 
administration opts out."'" It is probably rrwre accurate to say, however, that the lowering 
of Presidential sights came at)Out as the Administration realized that rt had painted itself 
into a comer by advocating an end to the arms embargo but surrendering the only vehicle 
by which the embargo could be lifted - namely, unilateral action by the US. Simply put. 
neither the UN (the Clinton Administration's preferred multilateral mechanism) nor other 
intemational bodies were willing to go along with lifting the embargo. That left the 
Administration without a vehicle it thought acceptable to implement the changes in Bosnian 
foreign policy it believed to be in the national interest. 

In the first few months of the Administration, the UN, in particular, turned out to be 
an unlikely forum for a fresh approach. In addition to the UN Security Council being the 
body that put the embargo in place, the new Clinton Administration found itself in the 
uncomfortable position of being unwilling to subscribe fully to the ongoing UN-sponsored 

' Carol Giacomo. Naw Secreta ry Fypftrts No Quick Dftdsion on Bosnia. The 
Reuter Library Report. Jan. 28. 1993. 

• President Bill Clinton, Questk>n and Answer Session With the Natkjnal 
Associatk>n of Newspaper Editors (Apr. 1, 1993). 

'* 139 Cong. Rec. H4262 (No. 93. June 29, 1993) (Statement of Rep. Frank 


Vance-Owen plan it felt would have effectively partitioned Bosnia. For an administration 
that placed heavy emphasis on the UN and multilateralism in foreign policy, this was not 
a comfortable situation. Secretary Christopher tried to step around the problem during a 
trip to the UN in February 1993. saying that the US supported the "process" without 
necessarily supporting the results." Two days later, using locution that would later 
become the hallmark of the Iran green light policy. White House spokesman George 
Stephanopoulos said President Clinton "does not have any specific support or rejection" 

Some commentators have strongly attacked the tenets of the Clinton 
Administration's policy of assertive multilateralism. Steven Ertanger. in the New York 
Times, called it "a formula for action that seemed to make the UN the only source of 
legitimacy for the use of force to keep the world secure," and Peter W. Rodman of the 
Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom, declared that for multilateralists "Ameri'^an 
unilateralism was the principal sin to be avoided, as if to atone for a shameful past."'' It 
was former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, however, who most astutely identified the 
inherent weakness of assertive multilateralism. The policy, he said, resigns the US to a 
belief that "the national interest is on the whole defined by the attainable global 
consensus."" This tumed out to be the reef on which the Bosnia policy foundered. 
Although the Administration wanted to lift the arms embargo as it applied to the Bosnian 
Muslims, it was unable to lead its global "partners" into a consensus to do so - and to act 
unilaterally would require the Administratk>n to violate the philosophical cornerstone of its 
foreign policy. 

The Administration quickly leamed that the Europeans, in particular, were unwilling 
to yield on the fundamental question of lifting the arms embargo. Fighting in eastem 
Bosnia intensified, and in April 1993, the Serbs, in a much-reported offensive, moved to 

^* Donald M. Rothberg, Clinton's Biggest Headache is in Europe . The Associated 
Press, Feb. 3, 1993. 



" Stephen Erianger, The US and the UN; Now, Who Needs Whom More? , The 
New York Times, July 7, 1 996. 

" Hearing on US National Goals and Objectives in International Relations in the 
Year ?00Q and Beyond Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations , 104th 
Congress (July 13,1995) (emphasis added). 


capture the town of Srebrenica. President Clinton spoke of his outrage at the fighting. "I 
condemn it and I have condemned it repeatedly and thoroughly. And I have done 
everything I could to increase the pressure of the international community on the outrages 
perpetuated in Bosnia by the aggressors and to get people to stand up against ethnic 
cleansing."'* The Europeans, however, had refused to go along, and, without their 
support, the US simply did not have the votes in the Security Council to overturn the 
embargo. More importantly, though, as President Clinton would repeatedly point out in the 
years to come, even "if we did. it would endanger the humanitarian mission there carried 
on by the French and British who oppose lifting the embargo."" Despite the Presidents 
outrage, he steadfastly refused to permit unilateral US actions. Behind this all there 
continued the dnjm-beat of keeping US policy within the boundaries acceptable to the UN. 
As Secretary Christopher declared, "whatever we would do, we would do multilaterally and 
we would want to do it with the full concun-ence of the UN. We would not try to take any 
shortcuts in the matter."^^ 

President Clinton's press conference on April 23, 1993, illustrated the in-econcilable 
tension between US national interests and the Administration's allegiance to assertive 
multilateralism. On the one hand, the President stated vigorously about Bosnia. "I think 
we should act. We should lead - the United States should lead." Yet. a few minutes later, 
in response to a pointed question about multilateralism "hamstringing" US foreign policy, 
he conceded his Administration's abdication of policy-making to the UN. The United 
States, even as the last remaining superpower, has to act consistent with international law 
and under some mandate of the United Nations."" 

On May 6. 1993, the Bosnian Serb Assembly rejected the Vance-Owen peace plan, 
which the Administration had finally come to support. The Administration renewed its call 
for multilateral lifting of the embargo against Bosnia. Then Secretary Christopher traveled 
to Europe on an ill-fated mission to win the support of Britain and France. His charter. 
evidenUy. was not broad enough to allow him to negotiate the issue forcefully. Later, 

" President Bill Clinton. Question and Answer Session With the National 
Association of Newspaper Editors (Apr. 1, 1993). 


' Alan Eisner. Clinton Has Fbw Options on Yugoslav ia. The Reuter Library 
Report. Apr. 22, 1993 (emphasis added). 

'• President BHI Clinton. Press Conference (Apr. 23. 1993). 


Secretary Chrisopher would admit that ttie effort had been a mistake. "The way that I 
made the trip to Europe in May 1993 was not consistent with global leadership."" After 
that, the Administration more openly acknowledged its political impotence. President 
Clinton explained: 

Let me tell you something about Bosnia. On Bosnia, I made a decision. The 
United Nations controls what happens in Bosnia. I cannot unilaterally lift the 
arms embargo. I didn't change my mind. Our allies decided that they weren't 
prepared to go that far at this time. They asked me to wait, and they said 
they would not support it. I didn't change my mind.'" 

It was also at about this time that Undersecretary of State Peter Tamoff indicated 
the US had to rethink its intemational role and realistically reappraise the degree to which 
it could hope to act and influence intemational events unilaterally. This doctrine, the so- 
called Tamoff Doctrine," was eventually disavowed by President Clinton. A Congressional 
Research Service report noted, however, 'US policy on Bosnia appeared to confirm Mr. 
Tamoff s views rather than contradict them. Liifting the arms embargo, while in principle 
favored by the Administration, was not viewed as a viable option without the participation 
of other allies."*' 

On June 30, the Administration suffered yet another defeat in changing US policy, 
ft was the only other Security Council member to back a resolution put forth by five non- 
aligned member countries to lift the embargo. Even though President Clinton had 
previously asserted that the US should take the lead in formulating intemational policy 
towards Bosnia, the US "dkl not push strongly for its adoption,"^ and Russia, France, and 
Britain joined other Council members in handily defeating the measure. The result was 
that a policy change the Administration deemed to be in the national interest was 

'* Elaine Sciolino, The Clinto n Record: Foreign Policy; Bosnia Policy Shaped By 
US Military Role . The New York Times. July 29, 1996. at A15. 

^ President Bill Clinton, Press Conference (June 15. 1993). 

'^ Julie Kim and Dianne E. Rennack, Bosnia-Hercegovina Conflict and the 1Q3d 
Congress: Po lic y Debates and Summary of Major Legislation , Congressional Research 
Service (CRS), Report for Congress 94-1008 F, at 7. 

^ Steven Woehrel. Bosnia-Hercagovina: Summary of the Dehata On a Unilateral 
Lifting of the Arms Embarg o, CRS, Report for Congress 95-477 F, at 5. 


squelched yet again by the UN. 

In July, the President was again put on the defensive in a press conference when 
a questioner referred to the Administration as being "indecisive' in formulating a Bosnia 
policy. He replied. 

Let me. first of all, point out what the United States has done just since I've 
been President. We spent a great deal of money on humanitarian aid; we 
have pushed hard for strengthening the embargo against Serbia; we have 
pushed for a number of other things to try to help resolve the situation that 
we have all agreed on. 

I did not back away from my position, sir. Britain and France and 
Russia said they would not support that position within the United Nations. 
The United States cannot act alone under international law in this instance." 

In July, as Serb forces stepped up their assault on Sarajevo and threatened to 
overrun the Bosnian capital, the Administration finally was moved to act. It announced 
that, while it hoped to work with the allied states. A was prepared to act unilaterally with 
air strikes to break the siege of Sarajevo. It is hard to know how serious the Administration 
was in making this statement. No military action was ever taken, although the threat did 
motivate NATO to meet in August to consider joint action. Even then. NATO ceded its 
authority to the UN Secretary-General to determine if military action was wan-anted and to 
call for air strikes. 

The President's subsequent statements squarely contradicted his professed 
willingness to take unilateral action and reaffirmed his commitment to multilateralism, no 
nnatter what the consequences for US national interests. Seven months later, on February 
6, 1994, the day after a rocket attack on a crowded marttet in Sarajevo killed 68 people, 
PreskJent Clinton made his mosi categorical statement yet on his interpretatkMi of the limits 
on US sovereignty in using its military. The United States, I will say again, under 
intematnnal law, in the absence of an attack on our people, does not have the authority 
to unilaterally undertake air strikes."^ 

" Presklent Bill Clinton, Press Interview (July 2. 1993). 

** The Late Edition: US Responds to Attack in Sarajevo. CNN Television 
Broadcast (Feb. 6, 1994) (emphasis added). 


In the same month. Febmary 1994, arguing against Senator Dole's legislative 
proposal to lift the embargo, Madeleine Albright advanced another argument that the 
Administration would frequently use ~ lifting the embargo would set a precedent allowing 
states to pick and choose which of the internationally sanctioned embargoes and sanctions 
they will enforce: 

Frankly, what will happen is, if we decide to lift the embargo unilaterally 
against - on this particular issue, then there will be those who will decide 
that we can just not abide by the intemational embargo against Iraq or 
against Libya. This is an intemational system, whereby we deal with rogue 
states, Iraq and Libya, through an intemational embargo. We depend on the 
intemational community to abide by it. And, even though we do not think it 
is appropriate for the Bosnian Muslims to be embargoed at the nviment, it is 
an intemational decision that we cannot change unilaterally.^ 

A few months later, in April, with renewed and increasingly bipartisan criticism of the 
Administration's refusal to lift the embargo, PreskJent Clinton made a similar argument, 'If 
we ignore a United Natk>ns embargo t>ecause we think it has no moral basis or even any 
legal validity, but everyone else feels contrary, then what is to stop our United Nations 
allies from ignoring the embargoes that we like, such as the embargo against Saddam 
Hussein? How can we ever say again to all of the other people in the UnKed Natk>ns, you 
must follow other embargoes?'* 

By mkl-1994 there was bipartisan consensus in Congress that the US should lift the 
Bosnian arms embargo unilaterally. This opinion was shared by many of those who 
supported a more active US role in stopping the fighting, as well as by many who still 
believed the US shoukJ be cautk)us in any action that could commit it to a role on the 
ground in the regfon. On May 25, Representatives Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and Henry 
Hyde urged the PreskJent to 'act in our natk>nal interest and not rely on the UN to 
determine our polk:y.*" 

In late summer, with peace talks stalled, Congress began working on several 


* PreskJent Bill Clinton, Press Conference (Apr. 20, 1994). 

" Letter from Reps. Newt Gingrich. Richard Armey and Henry Hyde to PreskJent 
Bill Clinton (May 25, 1994) (emphasis in original). See Appendix B. 


options to remove the embargo. This eventually led to Section 1404 of the fiscal year 1995 
National Defense Authorization Act ." According to that legislation, if the Bosnian Serbs 
did not accept the Contact Group peace plan by October 15. the President v»/as to 
introduce a resolution at the Security Council to lift the arms embargo muttilaterally no later 
than December 1 . Moreover, should such a resolution fail to pass, no US funds were to 
be expended after November 15 to enforce the continued embargo. This provision is 
commonly referred to as "Nunn-Mitchell," after its Senate sponsors. Since it was clear the 
Security Council would defeat a resolution to lift the embargo, the Administration halted the 
use of US funds effective November 12, 1994. It also ended the deployment of American 
ships in the Adriatic Sea for embargo enforcement and ended the sharing of intelligence 
on embargo violations with other countries. 

In all other respects, the Administration's policy remained unchanged, particulariy 
its opposition to unilaterally lifting the embargo. Although the Administration consulted with 
Congress on possible plans to aid the Bosnians unilaterally (as was also required in the 
legislation), the Administration made it clear it would not accept any form of unilateral 
action by the US. Indeed, on January 8, 1995. Vice President Al Gore wamed that the 
President would veto any bill requiring a unilateral lifting." This actually came to pass on 
August 11. 1995. when the President vetoed S.21. a bill calling for the unilateral lifting of 
the embargo after the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers from Bosnia or 12 weeks after the 
government of Bosnia-Herzegovina requested that UN peacekeepers leave, whichever 
came first. 

Another concem expressed repeatedly by the Administration during its debates with 
Congress in 1995 about the unilateral lifting of the embargo was that it could lead to one 
of two possible situations, both of wrfiich were worse than the status quo. The first was the 
•Americanization" of the war. The second (and this is brazen in light of the Administration's 
ongoing secret Iranian green light policy) was the introduction of Iranians into the war. 

The logic t»ehind the fear of "Americanization" was that the natran that lifts the 
embargo unilaterally will be held responsible for what follows. White House Press 
Secretary Mike McCurry explained that the Administration "strenuously" opposed a 
unHatera! lifting of the embargo because it would "give the US unilateral responsiblity for 

" US Publk: Law 103-337. 

* Ron Foumier. c^rtk- liS Stil l Rarks Yaltsln Dftsptte Apparent Lack of Control . 
The Associated Press. Jan. 8, 1995. 


the devastating consequences.'^ Consequently, if the Bosnian military were to begin to 
falter after the lift, the US would have to step in to train, arm. and possibly defend its new 
dependents. American intervention, the argument went, became all the more likely 
because a unilateral lifting by the US would likely have led UN peacekeepers to withdraw 
from the region.Thus. not only would US intervention be required to prop up Bosnian 
forces, it would also be required to aid the withdrawal of UN forces.^' 

The most disingenuous of the Administration's arguments was that lifting the arms 
embargo could allow the Iranians a foothold in Europe. The argument was that if the US 
were to lift the embargo, without itself arming the Muslims, Iran would fill the vacuum and 
thereby 'establish a presence' in Bosnia and the Balkans.'' (As shown in Section III of this 
report, the Administration had already secretly acquiesced in Iran's filling the existing 
vacuum.) It was against such an argument that Senator Dote spoke on June 5, 1995, 

[W]hen those of us who advocate lifting the arms embargo . . . point out that 
other countries would also participate in arming the Bosnians, we are told 
that this would allow Iran to arm the Bosnians. The fact is the arms embargo 
has guaranteed that Iran is a key supplier of arms to Bosnia and 
administration officials have actually used that fact to argue that there is no 
need to lift the arms embargo .... From statements made by State 
Department officials to the press, one gets the impression that Iran is the 
Clinton Administration's preferred provider of weapons to the Bosnians. If 
the Administration has a problem with Iran arming Bosnia, it should t>e 
prepared to do something about it" 

* Mike McCurry, White House Press Briefing (July 18, 1995). 

'* There is no question that unilaterally lifting the arms embargo, if the United 
States took that action, would lead U.N. troop-contributing nations to quickly withdraw 
their troops. That would then trigger, as you all know, a commitment we have to our 
allies to help extract them. So it is almost a dead-certain t>et that lifting the arms 
emt>argo would mean U.S. ground troops would have to be present in Bosnia very 
shortly.' Mike McCurry, White House Press Briefing (July 12, 1995). 

" Mike McCurry, White House Press Briefing (June 9, 1995). 

"^ 141 Cong. Rec. S7880 (No. 92. June 5. 1995) (Statement of Sen. Robert 
Dole) (emphasis added). 


Senator Dole had no idea at the time how taie his words were about Iran being the 
Administration's "preferred provider' of weapons. His mistake, like that of his colleagues 
in Congress, was in believing the Administration's denials of complicity and thinking no 
administration would be so foolish as to pemiit Iran - the world's leading sponsor of state- 
sanctioned terrorism - to establish a foothold in Europe. 

It would seem that the Administration would not want to revisit this particular 
argument, knowing how it would look when the truth finally emerged. Yet a month later, 
in July 1995. White House spokesman McCuny could not resist speculating sarcastically 
that Senator Dole, in his calls for lifting the embargo, was presumably ready to surrender 
Bosnia to Iran.** It would not be until spring 1996 that Congress and the American people 
would leam the truth and appreciate the irony behind McCurry's statement: A year before 
he accused Senator Dole of being willing to give the Iranians a free ride into Bosnia, the 
Clinton Administration had already laid out the welcome mat for Iran. 

Denial of the Iranian Green Light Policy 

As is discussed elsewhere in this report, the Administration's public 
pronouncements about its policy on the embargo significantly diverged from actual practice 
starting in April 1994. It was then that President Clinton authorized the giving of a secret 
"wink and a nod" or "green light" for the covert transshipment of Iranian amis to the 
Balkans. The development of that covert policy is treated at length in Section II of this 
report. In this chapter, treating the puWkdy acknowledged policy, we will only discuss the 
official denials that were made as elements of the policy began to leak to the press. 

The flow of Iranian arms through Croatia was difficult to disguise, and the openirvg 
of the so-called amis pipeline to Bosnia was reported in the US and European press within 
weeks.^ An obvious question for the press and our allies with troops on the ground in the 

** "Our view has been it is highly questtonaWe morally for the United States 
Congress to say that we are unilaterally lifting the amis embargo so that Muslims can 
have a fair fight and then not do anything to provWe them exactly those armaments 
that we've been talking about. There's some vague notion on Capitol Hill that perhaps 
they coukj get them from inventories of the fbnuer Soviet Unfon stocks. Perhaps they 
could get them from Iran. I guess Ser}atorDole is saying.' Mike McCuny. Press 
Conference (July 18. 1995) (emphasis added). 

* E4J. Bill Gertz. Iranian Weapons Sftnt Vi a Croatia. Washington Times. June 
24. 1994; Robert Block, i is Tiim.«t a R iinri Fya to Iran Arms for Bosnia. The 


region concerned whether the US was involved in either setting up or sanctioning the 

On May 13, 1994, two weeks after the Administration gave the green light. State 
Department spokesman David Johnson commented on reports of Iranian shipments 
through Zagreb, "It is the policy of the United States to respect the UN arms embargo on 
the nations that formerly comprised Yugoslavia." He quickly added that the US believes 
*if s important that UN Security Council resolutions be fully observed," a broader statement 
that suggested that the US expected other nations to respect the embargo as well.^ 

On June 3, the British newspaper. The Independent, reported that Iranian sources 
"close to the government and opposition in Tehran, claim that elements in President Bill 
Clinton's administration have made it clear that America would not interfere with Iran's 
attempts to circumvent the international arms embargo on Bosnia."" The same article 
contained official US denials. Nonetheless, the issue would not die. and the press 
continued to pursue the story. 

Later in June, the Administration once again was faced with a press story that 
threatened to uncover the green light policy. An article by Bill Gertz of the Washington 
Times led with the sentence. 'Croatia has become a major transit point for covert Iranian 
arms shipments to Bosnia with the tacit approval of the Clinton administration, which 
publidy rennains opposed to a unilateral lifting of the intemational arms embargo against 
the fractured Balka.n states." But in the same article a 'senior U.S. official" sakj that the US 
government opposed the Iranian arms shipments because they undercut UN sanctions. 
"There is no U.S. support for what Iran is doing," the official said."'* That same day press 
guidance issued by the State Department explicitly denied active complicity and any sort 
of acquiescence, "It is the policy of the United States to respect the UN arms embargo on 
the nations that formerly comprised Yugoslavia. We strongly believe that UN Security 

Independent, June 3, 1994. 

" US Mum on Report of Iran Arms to Bosnia . Reuters World Service, May 13, 

»^ Robert Block, US Tums a Blind gye to Iran Anms for Bosnia . The Independent, 
June 3, 1994, at 14. 

^ Bill Gertz. Iranian Weapons Sent Via Croatia , Washington Times. June 24, 
1994, at A1. 


Council resolutions must be fully respected."" This guidance would be sent out repeatedly 
in the following months.*" 

Subsequent press guidances and public statements from the State Department. 
National Security Council and the White House consistently denied any US role in the 
Iranian arms pipeline. At the State Department's daily press briefing on November 7, for 
example, spokesman Christine Shelley was asked directly if the US was contributing to, 
or turning a blind eye to, the violations of the arms embargo. The response was clear and 
categorical. "We're certainly not contributing to it, and we certainly are not turning a blind 
eye. We have been a major participant, as you know, in the enforcement of ail the different 
UN Security Council resolutions which have been passed in the past."^' 

Congress took the Administration at its word, yet the press and intelligence reporting 
indicated the Iranian arms kept flowing and, in the wake of such reports, the growth of 
Iranian influence in the region became increasingly a matter of concern. While the 
Administration still denies the linkage, at least for Congress it was obvious from the 
beginning that there was a direct connection between the provision of Iranian weapons and 
assistance and the growth of Iranian influence. Senator Dole in January 1995 argued that 
S.21 , his legislation lifting the embargo, \vould reduce the potential influence and role of 
radical extremist states like Iran" in the Balkans.*' The Administration nevertheless vetoed 
the legislation. As on many other occasions, it chose not to advise Congress that the 
actual Administration policy was that "at the highest level we do not wish to interpose 
ourselves' between the Iranians and the Balkans - that is, to permit Iran to use arms 
transfers to solidify its influence in the reg'ion.*' 

In April 1 995, a year after the green light policy went into effect, a Washington Post 
story reopened the question of the US's tacit approval of Iranian arms transfers. 
Department of State press guidance on Apnl 14 posed the following hypothetical question 
and guidance on its answer 

^ Department of State, Daily Press Guidance, June 24, 1994. 

** E-8-. Department of State, Daily Press Guidance, June 27 and Aug. 3. 1994. 

*' DOS cable. State 300842. Nov. 7, 1994 (emphasis added). 

** 141 Cong. Rec. S21 1 (No.1 . Jan. 4. 1995) (Statement of Sen. Robert Dole). 

*' Peter Galbraith, MenrK>randum for the File. May 6. 1994. 



Q: Is Iran delivering arms to the Bosnians? Does the US tacitly approve of 
this activity? What are we doing about it? How do we reconcile this policy 
with our more general concern atx>ut Iranian arms sales? 

A: Contrary to the impression left by this morning's Washington Post story, 

- /77he US neither 'allows' nor taatly accepts" the provision of Iranian 
arms to Bosnia or to any other country. 

- It is the policy of the United States to respect the UN arms embargo 
on the nations that formerly comprised Yugoslavia 

- The United States has on many occasions made known its strong 
objection to the behavior of the Government of Iran. We are actively 
involved in international efforts to isolate Iran and prevent it from engaging 
in illegal and dangerous weapons transfers.** 

In July of 1995, the President and Secretary of State confirmed the press guidance 
set forth above as the Administration's 'declared' policy. In a CNN interview on July 28, 
1995, President Clinton was asked if the US was 'orchestrating the transfer of arn« to the 
Bosnian Muslims through Arab or Middle-Eastern countries or anywhere else.* The 
answer was a curt *rK>.* On the same program. Secretary Christopher stated, "We are not, 
as I repeat myself, covertly supplying arms [to Bosnia] or taking steps to support arms.*** 
The next day. Secretary Christopher was quoted in the press as saying. The United States 
is not, underiine not, covertly supplying arms or supporting the supply of arms to the 
Bosnian govemment."** 

Perhaps the nx>st categorical false denial of the green light came in the National 
Security Council's press guidance of February 2. 1996, only two months t)efore the 
Administratk>n finally admitted its true policy towards Iranian arms transfers. This time, the 
Administration was concerned with allaying suspicior^ raised by another Washirtgton Post 

** DOS cable, State 092370. Apr. 14. 1995 (emphasis added). 

** The Late Edition: US Denies Funneling Arms to Bosnian Muslims, CNN 
Television Broadcast (July 28. 1995). 

^ Bill Gertz. Peny Threatens 'Massive Air'; Christopher Denies Report of Covert 
Anms Shipments . The Washington Times, July 29. 1995. at A9. 


story, this one alleging US involvement with a Saudi program to arm the Bosnians. Again, 
the guidance is given in hypothetical questions and answers. They are quoted at length 
below. This is necessary to document the degree to which the Clinton Administration was 
willing to misrepresent the truth In order to cover up their policy to allow Iran to develop a 
foothold in Europe through Bosnia. 

[Q:] Response to allegations in the Washington Post that the United States 

cooperated with Saudi Arabia in a program to arm the Bosnians over the 

past three years. 

[A:] We categorically deny the allegations in the Post story that the US was 

in any way involved with the purported Saudi program to arm the Bosnian 

Government, in violation of the UN amis embargo. While this Administration 

consistently argued that the arms embargo unfairly punished the victim of 

aggression during the Bosnian conflict, it was always our policy to abide by 

the terms of the arms embargo. We opposed a unilateral lifting of the 

embargo because it would undermine respect for other binding UNSC 

resolutions, including economic sanctions against Serbia, Iraq and Libya. 

The US did not cooperate, coordinate or consult with any other government 

regarding the provision of arms to the Bosnians. 

[Q:] But weren't you aware of covert arms assistance to the Bosnians by the 

Saudis and other countries, such as Iran? 

[A:] No such shipments were fa/cen in consultation or coordination with the 

US government. 

[Q:] If you were aware of these shipments, why didn't you stop them? 

[A:) We have always made dear that we were abiding by the arms embargo 

and that we expected other countries to do so as well.*^ 

" National Security Council. Daily Guidance Update. Feb. 2. 1996 (emphasis 


The Clinton Administration's consistent assertion of the need for assertive 
multilateralism was matched in effort and practice only by its consistence in falsely denying 
its 'Iranian green light' policy. The truth finally came to light with the publication of the 
series of highly detailed and well-infomned Los Angeles Times articles starting on April 6, 
1996/* It was only then that the Administration ceased its denials and deceptions and 
admitted what its true policy was - to allow Iran to purchase influence in the Balkans by 
supplying arms. 

' The articles have been discussed at length in Chapter One. 




In the preceding chapter, we have discussed at length the Clinton Administration's 
public policy of duplicity and denial regarding its green light to the Iranians' breaking the 
UN arms embargo in the former Yugoslavia. What makes the green light policy scandalous 
is that the Administration chose to use Iran, of all countries, to carry out a policy that the 
Administration was legally able, but unwilling to carry out Itself. The green light decision 
allowed Iran to expand economic and diplomatic relations in a volatile and unstable part 
of the world and, worse, to establish programs of military, security, and intelligence 
assistance and cooperation of unprecedented scope in Europe. This decision was made 
despite the US's firmly entrenched policy of isolating and containing Iran. The threat from 
Iran has been as clear as has been the US policy response to the threat, at least prior to 
the Administration's green light policy. For this reason the green light is not only an 
inexplicable reversal of long-standing US policy, H is a case of appallingly bad judgment 
in which US national interests were sacrificed out of the Administration's policy-based 
objections to unilateral actions by the US to protect American interests. 

In later chapters, we will demonstrate how such an indefensible decision was made 
and the effect it has had in radicalizing certain elements in Bosnia, as well as buying Iran 
influence in the region. In this chapter, we will simply establish the fact that, in its public 
pronouncements, the Administration has advocated an Iranian policy that is totally 
incompatible with its actions in Croatia and Bosnia. 

Recognizing the Problem: Iran 

The Clinton Administration deserves credit for its public statements recognizing 
Iran's preeminent role as a state sponsor of terrorism. According to the annual State 
Department report on intemational terrorism issued on April 1996,^ Iran is the premier 
state sponsor of intemational terrorism and is deeply involved in the planning and 
execution of terrorist acts both by its own agents and by surrogate groups.* The report 
goes on to rK>te that Iran continues to view the United States as its principal foreign 
adversary, supporting groups such as Hizballah that pose a threat to US citizens. Because 
of Tehran's and Hizballah's deep antipathy towards the United States, US missions and 

' Department of State. Pattems of Global Tefmrism: 1995 , Apr. 1996, at 24. 


personnel abroad continue to be at risk.'' Two years earlier, the annual report reached 
much the same conclusion: 

Iran again was the most active state sponsor of terrorism and was 
implicated in terrorist attacks in Italy, Turkey and Pakistan. Its intelligence 
services support terrorist acts - either directly or thre>ugh extremists groups 
.... Iran still surveys US missions and personnel. Tehran's policymakers 
view terrorism as a valid tool to accomplish their political objectives, and acts 
of terrorism are approved at the highest levels of the Iranian govemment.' 

In this document, which, ironically, was published the very month of the Administration's 
green light decision, the Administration provided information that would lead one to believe 
the Administration would be making efforts to crack down on Iran's involvement in Bosnia 
and Croatia rather than "wink and nod" at it: 

Bosnian Vice PreskJent Ejup Ganic warned in June [1993] that Bosnians 
living in EuroF>e were likely to resort to terrorism if the West did not come to 
Bosnia's aid. and outskje terrorist groups are reported providing support to 
the Bosnian Muslims. In August. Croatian authorities confiscated weapons, 
explosives and false documents from a lerrorisf networi^ that had been 
aiding Bosnia. Hizballah and Iran have provided training to the Bosnian 
Muslim army.* 

Sectk>n III of this report further documents the extensive infonnation available to the 
Administration on Iran and its surrogates' activities in the former Yugoslavia prior to the 
green light as well as after. 

The Policy Response to the Iranian Threat 

Not only has the Clinton Administration been dear in acknowledging Iran's threat 
to US national interests and world stability, the Administratk>n has also been consistent 
(other than in the fonner Yugoslavia ) in articulating and adhering to a policy that was 
noeant to isolate Iran politically, eooriomrcally, and militanly. Such isolation, K was hoped, 

' Id. at 25. 

' Department of State, Pattems of Global Tentirism: 1993 , Apr. 1994, at 22. 

•Id. at 11. 


would lead to the regime's moderation.' 

Secretary Christopher encapsulated the Iran policy and its rationale in May 1994 in 
a speech before the American Jewish Committee Conference: 

Well, Iran is an outlaw country in my judgment and deserves to t>e 
treated with containment and isolation. It is not only their weapons of mass 
destruction program that concerns us, but their resort to terrorism around the 
world. Their ugly hand can t>e seen not only in the Middle East but in Africa 
and some places in Europe. Their determined opposition to the peace 
process in the Middle East is only one of the reasons why I think that they do 
not deserve the approbation of the intemational community. 

We cannot expect to end all trade with them, but I think what we can 
urge our allies is to not give them concessions and not welcome them into 
the family of nations and accord the advantages of that kind of status. The 
United States will be working hard in this vein, feeling it's necessary to try to 
isolate them, to try to contain them until there is a change in their attitudes 
toward their neighbors and toward the rest of the worid. 

.... Iran is a country that I think deserves our very close watching, 
and until they make a major change in their policy, I think the United States' 
present policy of isolation and containment is the correct one.* 

' The Clinton Administratkin has attempted to link its Iran policy with its policy 
vis-a-vis Iraq in a regional strategic polkry it has termed 'dual containment.* This policy 
was outlined by Martin Indyk, Special Assistant to the President for Near East and 
South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), in May 1993, and makes up 
a significant portion of National Security Advisor Anthony Lake's Foreign Affairs article 
Confronting Backlash States (Vd. 73. No. 2. MariApr. 1994, at 45-55). The dual 
containment polk^ has receivxi significant criticism by MkJdIe Eastern foreign policy 
experts as being ilk)gical and a. .terproductive in implementation. However, for our 
purposes it is not necessary to review the Iran^policy in this larger regional strategic 
context It is sufficient to note that there is a dear and unambiguous policy of isolatir^ 
and containing Iran so as to nxxjerate its policies. 

* Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Remarks at tiie Anr)erican Jewish 
Committee Conferer>ce (May 5. 1994). 


More than just keeping up the rhetorical drum-beat of calls to isolate Iran, the 
President has also taken action to further that objective and increase the pressure on its 
leadership to moderate its many objectionable policies. In May 1995 the President signed 
an executive order banning, in effect, all US trade and investment in Iran/ In August 
1996, the President signed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act,' a bill that had passed the 
House without a single dissenting vote, imposing sanctions on foreign companies exporting 
petroleunvrelated technology to Iran. In regard to this bill, the President said, "You cannot 
do business with countries that practice commerce with you by day while funding or 
protecting the terrorists who kill you and your innocent civilians by night. That is wrong. 
I hope and expect that before long, our allies will come around to accepting this 
fundamental tmth."* As National Security Advisor Anthony Lake has noted, those countries 
that believe positive inducements will woric with Iran are wrong and improvement in 
relations must come about only as a reward for Iran's moderating its objectionable 
behavKjr. The most effective message is a consistent one: no normal relations until these 
[objectionable] actions end.'^" 

The Administratk)n tumed its back on this established principle of American foreign 
policy in making the green light decisbn. Instead of 'isolating' and 'containing* Iran, as 
Secretary Christopher had promised, the Administration's policy in the Balkans was 'at the 
highest level we do not wish to interpose ourselves between the Iranians and the 
Croatians."^^ In allowing Iranian arms transfers to Bosnia, the Administration essentially 
forced the Bosnians into a position of dependence on, and subservience to, Iran. This 
would soon come back to hurt the Administratk>n. 

^ Executive Order No. 12959. 60 Fed. Reg. 24,757 (1995). 

•Public Law 104-172. 

* President Bill Clinton, Address at George Washington University (Aug. 5, 

^^ Anthony Lake, Confronting Backlash States , supca at 5. 

" Ambassador Peter Galbraith quoting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of 
State Alexander Vershbow in a May 5, 1994 telephone conversatk>n. Recounted in a 
Memorandum for the File by Galbraith. dated May 6, 1994. 






The Select Subcommittee sought to take depositions from all significant participants 
in the events under investigation. In some instances, interviews, rather than depositions, 
were conducted by special investigators, who were detailed as a joint resource to the 
Subcommittee staff.' Both the majority and minority staff were represented at every 
deposition and interview. The deposition testimony was transcribed by a certified court 
reporter who is provided by the Office of Official Reporters to Committees of the House of 
Representatives. Depositions were conducted under oath in a question and '^nswer 
format. Interviews were conducted by the Select Subcommittee staff and by the special 
investigators. Interview witnesses were not put under oath. 

The Select Subcommittee took the depositions of 27 witnesses and interviewed 
approximately 55 others. 

The following individuals (listed in alphabetical order) appeared for depositions: 
Janet S. Andres - former Executive Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence; Reginald 
Bartholomew - former Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia; General Wesley Clark - 
former Director of Strategic Plans & Policy (J-5) on the Joint Staff; Thomas Doniion - 
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State; 
Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith - Ambassador to Croatia; Colonel Richard C. Henick - 
Defense & Army Attache, Embassy Zagreb; Ambassador Richard Holbrooke - former 
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs; Richard A. Holtzapple - 
former Political Officer/Second Secretary, Embassy Zagreb; Susan C. Hovanec - fomier 
Public Affairs Officer. Embassy Zagreb; Ambassador Robert Hunter - Pemnanent US 
Representative to the Nj^rth Atian tic Counc il: Ambassador Victor L. Jackovich - for 

Ambassador to Bosnia£_ 

Douglas MacEachin - former Deputy Director for intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency 
(CIA); Thomas D. Mittnacht - former Economic/Commercial Officer. Embassy Zagreb; 
Rorukl J. Neitzke • former Deputy Chief of Missnn, Embassy Zagreb; Rudolf V. Perina - 
Chief of Mission. Embassy Belgrade; Charles E. Redman • former Special Envoy to the 
fermer Yug oslavia ; Lt. Colonel Robert J. gadl er - Defense Attache. Embassy Zagreb; 

[Lt Colonel John E. Sray - former G-2 

* See Appendix A. 


Intelligence Chief for Bosnia/Herzegovina Command, UNPROFOR; Chariotte Stottman  
former secretary to Ambassador Galbraith; Strobe Talbott - Deputy Secretary of State; 
Peter Tarnoff - Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs;!^ 

/Alexander R. Vershbow - former Deputy Assistant Secretary 

of State for European an?Canadian Affairs; James Woolsey - former Director of the CIA; 
Kathryn Zabetakis - former Secretary to Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzk^^^|^0B^ 

The Select Subcommitte staff, including staff investigators, also conducted 
interviews, not taken under oath, of the following individuals: Mark E. Anderson; Terri Lee 
Baker; Richard C. Barkley; Frederick Baron; Maria Barton; Samuel "Sandy" Bergen Robert 
L. Burkhart; Ambassador Lawrence Butler (telephonically); Robert Caudle; Peter Comfort; 
Robert Davis; former Senator Dennis DeConcini; Dushka Djuric; Robert P. Finn; former 
Speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley; Philip S. Goldberg; Jane Green; Anthon> G. 
Harrington; Christopher R. Hill; Christopher J. Hoh; Swanee Hunt; Stephen H. Klemp; 
National Security Advisor Anthony Lake; former Republican Leader of the House of 
Representatives Robert Michel: John Monjo; Imam Sevko Omerbasic; Ronna Pazdrai; 
Shane Pitzer. Susan Ray; John Rizzo; William G. Root; James W. Swigert; Mildred 
Tangney; Alexander "Sandy' Vershbow; Paul Vogel; Ambassador Jenonne Walker; 
Thomas G. Weston; Philip C. Wilcox. Jr.; and John S. Wolf. 

Briefirtgs of Subcommittee staff and special investigators at C|^ 
given by the following CIA analysts of the Directorate of Intelligent 

Headquarters were 

Under advisement of their agency of for other reasons, several of the above 
individuals declined to testify under oath. The National Security Council (NSC) declined 
to have its employees testify under oath, including National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake 
and his deputy Samuel 'Sandy* Berger. Chairman of the President's Intelligence 
Oversight Board, Anthony Harrington, at the instniction of the White House Counsel, also 
declined to testify urwier oath. Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Secretary of 
Defense William Perry, and Leon Feurth. Assistant to the Vice President for National 
Security Affairs, all declined to sit for a staff deposition. 

In addition, the Select Subcommittee acquired copies of relevant testinxjny given 
by several indivkluals in dosed hearings conducted by the House Permanent Select 
Committee on IntelligerKe (HPSCI). HPSCI was most generous in sharing these and other 
resources for review by the Select SutKommittee. The Senate Select Committee on 
Intelligence (SSCI) also provided the Select Subcommittee access to transcripts of its 


relevant closed hearings. In addition, SSCI offered the services of their special 
investigators who shared their research and information they obtained during their 
investigation of this issue. 

Acquisition of Classified and Non-Classified Federal Government Documents 

Throughout the Subcommittee's investigation, documents were obtained from 
several Federal agencies. Documents were processed, each identified with a bate stamp 
number and stored in a Sensitive Compartmented Infonmation Facility (SCIF). 

The Select Subcommittee sought relevant documents from numerous federal 
agencies. These agencies included the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department 
of Defense (DOD), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Security Council 
(NSC),the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Intelligence Oversight Board (lOB). the US 
Information Agency (USIA), and the Department of State (DOS). The Select 
Subcommittee initially submitted written requests to Federal agencies based on infonnation 
available in the public record. The agencies identified responsive documents and, with 
some exceptions, made them available for review. Security an-angements were made for 
the review of classified documents, in accordance with proper security procedures. The 
Conference Room, within the Select Subcommittee offices, was examined for surveillance 
devices whenever deposition testimony was given or classified documents reviewed. 

Some agencies permitted the Select Subcommittee to retain copies of pertinent 
documents, and others provided documents which were to be returned following this 
investigation. Review of highly classified documents was conducted in a secure facility at 
the various agencies, and only notes were permitted to be removed by the staff. 

Central intelligence Agency (CIA) 

Two staff members from both the Majority and Minority staff were given unrestricted 
access at CIA headquarters, to a wide variety of requested materials, including over a 
1.000 documents and cables related to our inquiry. The Select Subcommittee, also 
received over 1,000 pages of CIA finished intelligence products for review at the 

department of Defense (DOD) 

Both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) 
offered their cooperation in providing the Select Subcommittee with documents relating to 
the Balkans crisis. Several hundred NSA documents were reviewed by staff at NSA 


headquarters, and approximately 1 50 pages of materials were made available for review 
at the Select Subcommittee offices. DIA also compiled several hundred documents for 
review at DIA headquarters and provided approximately 250 for use at the Select 

National Security Council (NSC) 

The National Security Council (NSC) provided fewerthan 30 documents for use at 
the Select Subcommittee. The staff was briefed on an additional 52 documents at the 
NSC. In addition, the Subcommittee was provided with a Bosnian Document List, 
however, no actual documents were attached. 

White House • Intelligence Oversight Board (lOB) 

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board (iOB) provided the Select 
Subcommittee with a list of individuals it reviewed in the course of its own investigation.^ 

United States Information Agency (USIA) 

The United States Information Agency (USIA) provided the Select Subcommittee 
with copies of official calendars kept by Susan Hovanec, the Public Affairs Officer at the 
US Embassy in Zagreb, for 1994 and 1995. These calendars documented dates of 
important meetings between Hovanec and officials in the region, relevant to our 

* See Chapter 7. 




During the first days of it's existence and throughout the investigation, the Select 
Subcommittee continuously sought the cooperation of various federal government 
agencies. In an effort to obtain all classified and unclassified information related to the 
United States role in Iranian arms transfers to Croatia and Bosnia, the Subcommittee 
requested the assistance of the White House, National Security Council, Intelligence 
Oversight Board, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of State. Department of 
Defense, Department of Justice, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The rate and scope 
of administration cooperation, however, varied from full compliance from some agencies 
to almost complete non-compliance from others. 

In April 1996, before the establishment of the Select Subcommittee, document 
requests relating to the Iranian "green light" policy had already been submitted to the 
Administration. Chairman Arlen Specter and Vice Chairman RotJert Kerrey of the Senate 
Select Committee on Intelligence contacted the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, 
the National Security Council, and the Department of State requesting "any unpublished 
material bearing on this subject, such as cables, electronic correspondence, intemal 
memoranda, minutes of meetings, letters, and memoranda to other agencies or talking 
points for briefings.'^ Additionally, Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee requested the President turn over ". . . all documents related to the role that 
your Administration may have played in proposing, organizing, assisting, consulting, 
arranging, or agreeing to the transfer of arms by any govemment or private organization 
into the former Yugoslavia during the period in which the United Nations arms embargo 
was in effect."* Chairman Benjamin Oilman of the House International Relations 

^ Letter from Arlen Specter. Chairman, and Robert Kerrey, Vice Chairman, 
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, to Warren Christopher (hereinafter 
'Christopher*), Secretary of State (Apr. 9, 1996). See Appendix B. 

' Letter from Jesse Helms (hereinafter "Helms') Chairman. Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee, to President Bill Clinton (hereinafter 'Clinton') (Apr. 16. 1996). 
Sfifi Appendix B. 


Committee, and Chaimian Floyd Spence of the House Committee on National Security 
also submitted requests at this time, for similar information.' 

President Clinton on May 15, 1996, insisted that the Administration would cooperate 
with Congress: 

I have asked the relevant agencies ... to work with you to ensure that the 
Committee obtains the information it needs on this matter. 

I welcome this opportunity to present the policy my Administration has 
pursued to help bring peace to Bosnia. Let me assure you that my 
Administration will cooperate fully with the Committee and with other 
Congressional bodies in their examination of this matter* 

Because Congressional requests were made, and because the President directed 
his agencies to meet these requests, it is presumed that the Administration would have 
compiled all infomiation relevant to the Iranian arms issue. When the Select 
Subcommittee later requested this infomiation. however, the Administration needed until 
the end of September, five months after the original Congressional request, to gather all 
related materials. The Subcommittee notes, in particular, that the materials made available 
on September 27 by the Department of State were important documents, critical to the 
investigation of the US role in Iranian arms transfers. The Department was aware that it 
was providing access to documents only a week before the Subcommittee planned to 
finalize its report. 

Agency Compiiance 
Central Intelligence Agency 

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was the most cooperative and willing of the 
Administration agencies in their efforts to provide the Select Subcommittee with requested 

' Letter from Benjamin Gilnrian (hereinafter "Giiman*), Chairman, House 
Intemational Relations Committee, to Christopher (May 2. 1996); Giiman to Anthony 
Lake (hereinafter "Lake"), National Security Advisor, (May 21, 1996); Ftoyd Spence. 
Chairman, National Security Committee, to William Perry. Secretary of Defense, (Apr. 
15,1996). See Appendix B. 

* Letter from Clinton to Helms (May 15. 1996). See Appendix B. 


documents and other related material. Within days of the Subcommittee's inception, 
thousands of pages of cable traffic were made available at the CIA headquarters for review 
by a limited number of Select Subcommittee staff. The CIA also accommodated the 
Sut>committee in making their staff, including former Director of Central Intelligence James 
Woolsey, available for depositions and interviews, as requested. 

In addition, the Agency also played a pivotal role in expediting the security clearance 
process for Select Subcommittee staff, which enabled the Subcommittee to complete its 
investigation during its six-month charter. 

Department of Defense 

The Department of Defense (DOD) was generally helpful in the production of 
requested documents. It was consistently effective in making Defense personnel available 
for depositions, as requested. The only exception to this remains an outstanding request 
for Secretary William Perry's appearance to provide information to the Select 

In addition, the Defense Department's Investigative Service and Security Directorate 
understood the Subcommittee's critical and immediate need to obtain security clearances, 
and were instrumental in expediting the processing of background investigations of the 
Subcommittee staff. 

Federal Bureau of Investigation 

On May 13, 1996, Chairman Hyde requested special agents be detailed from the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to the Select Subcommittee to assist with its 
investigation of the US role in Iranian arms transfers.* The "October Surprise Task Force", 
in 1992, employed the services of seven agents detailed from three federal govemment 
investigative agencies, while the Select Subcommittee requested only three agents from 
the FBI. Additionally, unlike 'October Surprise*, the Select Subcommittee pakl the salary 
and benefits of these agents, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

' Letter from Henry J. Hyde (hereinafter 'Hyde'), Chairman, Select 
Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to 
Croatia and Bosnia (hereinafter 'Select Subcommittee*), to Louis Freeh. Director. 
Federal Bureau of Investigation (May 13. 1996). See Appendix B. 


The Subcommittee worked jointly with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI 
to make the appropriate arrangements to secure their assistance.* Both agencies were 
reluctant at first to provkje investigators to the Sub committee. Part of the FBI's hesitancy 
could rightfully be attributed to the political fervor, at the time of the Subcommittee's 
request, surrounding the White House/FBI "Filegate" affair.' Nonetheless, on July 23, 
1996. the Deputy Attorney General, Jamie Gorelick, approved the detailing of three FBI 
agents to work as shared resources between the Majority and Minority staffs of the Select 

In an effort to ensure that the inquiry would be conducted in a bipartisan manner, 
Chief Counsel and Chief Minority Counsel agreed to a memorandum of understanding with 
respect to the utilization of the agents detailed to the Select Subcommittee.' The 
memorandum provided that the investigators assigned would be a joint resource between 
the Majority and the Minority staffs, it was also agreed that, upon conducting an interview, 
the investigators would provide an interview report to both the Majority and Minority staffs. 

Department of Justice 

In addition to the Department of Justice's assistance in obtaining FBI agents for the 
Select Sutxx>mmittee, DOJ p>ersonnel were also helpful in securing space for depositions. 
The Office of Legislative Affairs, in particular, Alan Hoffman, was able to arrange secured 
areas to conduct depositions of Ambassadors Charles Redman and Richard Holbrooke in 
Chicago and New York, respectively. Likewise, the US Attorney's office was most 
accommodating in these requests.' 

' Memorandum of Understanding from Richard J. Pocker (hereinafter "Pocker"), 
Chief Counsel, Select Subcommittee and Richard Meltzer (hereinafter "Meltzer"). 
Minority Chief Counsel, Select Subcommittee, to Howard Shapiro, General Counsel, 
Federal Bureau of lnvestigatk>n (Aug. 9, 1996). See Appendix B. 

' It was disclosed that the FBI was inappropriately used by political operatives in 
the White House. Over 700 files - including background investigation materials - were 
turned over to the Administratkin for no objective reason. 

* MenK>randum of Understanding from Pocker to Meltzer (July 24. 1996). See 
Appendix B. 

* Deputy Chief of Chicago's Criminal Division, Sergb E. Acosta, and Chief of the 
Civil Divisk>n in New York. Jane Booth, were very cooperative and willing to assist the 


Department of State 

The Department of State (DOS) was generally slow to respond to the Select 
Subcommittee's document requests and reluctant to facilitate requested depositions and 
interviews. At the outset of the Subcommittee's investigation, the Department stated that 
it 'remains committed to cooperating fully with the Select Subcommittee, with a view 
toward concluding this inquiry promptly."^*' The State Department's actual performance fell 
well short of Ks assurances. Only days prior to the Sut>committee's drafting deadline and 
after the Subcommittee had met with all witnesses, did the Department of State provide 
important documents which were requested within the first month of the Subcommittee's 

The Select Subcommittee, on July 26, 1996, made an initial request to the 
Department of State for Ambassador Galbraith's compilation of memos which he 
maintained in his office in Zagreb as his "record' of the issues and events that he 
encountered as US Ambassador to Croatia. Also requested were the Ambassador's 
calendars, phone records, and travel vouchers. The Department at first characterized the 
record as being Ambassador Galbraith's personal document despite it having been typed 
by a government secretary, on a government computer, on govemment time." 

On August 22, 1996, the State Department made available only selected (by State 
Department officials) portions of the record. Even then, the Subcommittee was not given 
copies of these materials, as requested, but rather was only allowed to review selected 
portions at the State Department, where no photocopying or verbatim note taking was 
permitted.^' Not until September 18, 1996, were Chaimnan Hyde and Mr. Hamilton advised 
that Ambassador Galbraith's 'record* would be made available, in its entirety, at the State 
Department. It was made available for review, however, solely to the chief counsels who 
could not rennove any notes from the Department, nor discuss the contents of the over 1 50 

Select Subcommittee staff. 

" Letter from Barbara Larkin (hereinafter tarkin*). Assistant Secretary, 
Legislative Affairs, Department of State, to HydS (July 30, 1996). See Appendix B. 

" Letter from Hyde and Lee Hamilton (hereinafter 'Hamilton*), Ranking Minority 
Member, Select Subcommittee, to Christopher (July 26, 1996). See Appendix B. 

" Letter from Larkin to Hyde (Aug. 22. 1996). See Appendix B. 


page document with anyone other than Chairman Hyde and Mr. Hamilton." 

Based on testinxjny received by various witnesses, the Select Subcommittee, on 
August 14, 1996. requested access to additional documents during staff travel to Embassy 
Zagreb. The requested documents included the chronological cable file of all cables sent 
to the State Department by Embassy Zagreb, as well as notes taken by Political Officer 
Richard Hoitzapple during Gaibraith's meetings. To alleviate costs and the burdens of 
production upon the State Department, Select Subcommittee staff offered to review the 
previously requested phone records and travel voucher information while at Embassy 
Zagreb, and to simply make copies of only those portions the Subcommittee staff 
determined to be relevant to their inquiry. This offer would have saved the Department 
from making photocopies of the entire set of documents, and shipping those same items 
to the Select Subcommittee offices." Upon arrival in Zagreb, however, the Subcommittee 
staff was not permitted to view any documents and were told that it would be provided 
access to them only in Washington. Some of the documents were finally provided on 
September 18, 1996.'* 

As part of the staff delegation's inquiries, the Select Subcommittee asked the State 
Department to request, on its behalf, meetings with specified Croatian and Bosnian 
govemment officials and community leaders to discuss their knowledge of the United 
States' role in Iranian arms transfers.'* Due to the late notice from the State Department, 
Embassy Zagreb was only able to arrange one meeting. One hour prior to the staffs 
departure, the Subcommittee staff met with Croatian Muslim cleric Imam Sevko Omerfoasic. 
Despite a renewed request," the State Department has never shared a copy of a 
diplomatic note or other Departmental correspondence showing Department efforts to 
arrange the requested meetings with foreign officials. 


^' Letter from Larkin to Hyde (Sept 17, 1996). See Appendix B. 

** Letter from Hyde and Hamitton to Christopher (Aug. 14, 1996). See Appendix 

" Letter from Larkin to Hyde (Sept 17, 1996). See Appendix B. 

'* Letter from Hyde to Christopher (Aug. 12, 1996); letter from Hyde and 
Hamitton to Christopher (Sept. 5. 1996). See Appendix B. 

" Letter from Hyde and Hamilton to Christopher (September 5, 1996). See 
Appendix B. 


Subsequent document requests, made in early and mid-August, were also not 
responded to until September, including requests to turn over the approximately 30 spiral 
notebooks that former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Alexander 
Vershbow kept during his tenure with the State Department. The morning of Vershbow's 
deposition, the Select Subcommittee staff was informed that Vershbow made available 
some of his handwritten notes, which were taken contemporaneously with events being 
investigated by the Subcommittee. That same day. Chairman Hyde submitted a document 
request to the State Department requesting production of all of Vershbow's notes, not just 
those the State Department decided the Subcommittee should review." More than one 
month later, the State Department provided only portions of the materials to Hyde and 
Hamilton, and even fewer sections for review by Subcommittee staff. 

The integrity of the Subcommittee's investigation and report rests upon the 
assurance that all materials it has determined relevant, have been turned over. The 
Subcommittee could not entrust the truth-seeking process to the Department and 
indivkJuals who have a stake in the outcome. As with any oversight investigation, it should 
be the oversight body that makes the determination of relevant material, not the agency 
at the heart of the investigation. 

With respect to requests for depositions, on August 1, 1996. the Select 
Subcommittee sent letters requesting the State Department make Deputy Secretary of 
State Strot)e Talbott and Undersecretary for Political Affairs Peter Tamoff available for staff 
depositions." Subcommittee Staff was advised that the Department's legal section was 
reviewing the resolution creating the Subcommittee to detemnine if the Select 
Subcommittee had the authority to take staff depositions of "principals.* It was asserted 
that the "principals' were Seaetary of State Warren Christopher. Deputy Secretary of State 
Talbott, and Undersecretary for Political Affairs Tamoff. Moreover, it was also asserted 
that the issue of whether the State Department would even allow 'principals' to sit for staff 
depositions was at the same time separate from whether the Select Subcommittee enjoyed 
the authority to conduct such proceedings.^ 


^* Letter from Hyde to Christopher (Aug. 12, 1996). See Appendix B. 

'• Letters from Pocker and Meltzer to Christopher (Aug. 1. 1996). See Appendix 

" Letter from Hyde to Christopher (Aug. 26, 1996); letter from Patrick B. Mun^y 
(hereinafter 'Murray'). Deputy Chief Counsel, Select Subcommittee, to Michael 
Klosson. Deputy Assistant Secretary. Legislative Affairs, US Department of State (Aug. 


The State Department's refusal of the Select Subcommittee's request to have 
Talbott and Tarnoff sit for the requested depositions could not be based upon any legal 
principle. House Resolution 416 unambiguously authorized such depositions and 
authorized the Chairman to issue a subpoena compelling the appearance of any individual 
for such depositions. In the interest of time, the Subcommittee agreed to the State 
Department's August 28 proposal that Taltxjtt and Tarnoff meet with Chairman Hyde. Mr. 
Hamilton, and Select Sutx»mmittee staff for a one hour informal unsworn interview.'' At 
the interview both Talbott artd Tarnoff agreed to provide their testimony under oath and did 

Additionally, the State Department did not honor the Subcommittee's request" to 
meet with Secretary Christopher. On Septemt>er 26, the Department informed the Select 
Subcommittee that the Secretary's schedule did not permit him to accommodate the 

The White House - National Security Council 

The National Security Council (NSC) made only 22 documents available to the 
Select Subcommittee staff out of approximately 63,000 pages of documents that turned 
up in response to its initial search request and review. Many of these documents are 
classified as Top Secret." There were another 75 documents that the NSC agreed to brief 
only Memtjers. with staff present. Those documents could neither be copied, nor read by 
Sut>committee staff. 

The Select Subcommittee also requested the NSC make available its personnel for 
depositions. National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and US Ambassador to the Czech 
Republic Jenonne Walker (who had been on the NSC during the green light decision), 
were asked to testify due to their direct role in provkiing instructk)ns to US Ambassador to 
Croatia Peter Gaibraith regarding the US response to Croatian PreskJent Franjo Tudjman's 
request for a US position on Iranian arms transfers. Deputy Natk)nal Security Advisor 

6. 1996). See Appendix B. 

*' Letter from Larkin to Hyde (Aug. 29, 1996). See Appendix B. 

" Letter from Hyde and Hamilton to Christopher (SepL 24. 1996). See Appendix 

" Letter from Larkin to Hyde (SepL 26. 1996). See Appendix B. 


Samuel Berger's deposition was requested because of statements attributed to him by 
Alexander Vershbow. former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs. With 
respect to Vershbow. he was integral to the fonnuiatlon of the policy change while he was 
at the State Department in late April and early May of 1994. In June 1994. he moved to 
the NSC. where he continued to follow this issue. Based on NSC documents there was 
also reason to interview him regarding his actions and knowledge after the "no instructions" 
policy had been articulated to the Croatian government.'* 

The NSC witnesses from whom depositions were requested were determined based 
on a number of factors, including how centra! his or her role was in the conveyance of the 
Iranian green light decision. Disturbing questions of credibility needed to be resolved, as 
well as issues of whether the President was fully infomned of the intelligence on this matter 
or on the risks Inherent in making the decision to let Iran send weapons into Croatia and 
Bosnia. These issues were particularly difficult to ascertain, due to the 'deliberative 
process" veil of executive privilege the Administration cast over this information. 

On August 14, 1996. the Counsel to the President. Jack Quinn. responded to the 
Select Subcommittee's request to take the depositions of Lake. Berger. Walker, and 
Vershbow. The White House asserted the position that neither cun-ent nor fomier NSC 
staff vrould be allowed to sit for staff depositrons. because to do so would intmde upon the 
President's 'deliberative process."* 

The White House described the Presklent's "deliberative process" on July 23. 1996. 
as matters pertaining to confidential communications to and from the President. 
Presidential meetings with foreign heads of state, and the content and deliberations of 
Principals* and Deputies' Committee meetings. The Select Subcommittee made it clear 
that their questioning would not intrude upon these areas. The Subcommittees interest 
was to establish facts regarding these individuals' actions implementing and transmitting 
the policy, not to delve into their deliberative discussions with the President The 
Subcommittee understands the necessity of preserving the Presklent's ability to seek frank 
arKJ honest discusskin of views from his staff, in order for him to undertake his obligations 

** Letter from Hyde to Christopher (Aug. 15. 1996); letters from Pocker to Lake 
(July 31. 1996). See Appendix B. 

** Letter from Jack Quinn (hereinafter "Quinn"), Counsel to the President, to 
Hyde (Aug. 14. 1996). See Appendix 8. 



Due tc the NSC's lack of cooperation, the Select Subcommittee began preparation 
of subpoenas to compel the production of sworn depositions of Lake, Berger, and 
Vershtiow. To avoid issuance of the subpoenas, the White House Counsel met with 
Chairman Hyde and Subcommittee staff on September 17, 1996. The Counsel explained 
that "executive privilege is as much a process as it is a privilege.' Thus, there was no 
difficulty for the NSC and the White House to produce these senior government officials 
for an interview to discuss their role in the execution of the Iranian arms pipeline policy 
decision so long as it was merely an "interview" format. The Counsel argued that, in the 
view of the White House, an oath and a transcript alter the nature of a meeting, because 
those items are 'indicia of a hearing.' He admitted, however, that there is a well- 
recognized exception to executive privilege whenever there are "credible allegations of 
criminal wrongdoing." Additionally, the White House required the presence of a Member 
of Congress during the interviews with "principals" Lake and Berger.^' 

The White House continued to refuse, however, to permit Leon Fuerth. Assistant to 
the Vice President for National Security Affairs, to appear for a deposition, as requested 
by the Select Sut)committee". Rather. Fuerth was made available to brief only Chairman 
Hyde and Mr. Hamilton on issues not touching upon the deliberative process.* 

To resolve the impasse, and to facilitate the fact-gathering process within the Select 
Subcommittee's very limited time frame, Chairman Hyde accommodated the White 
House's prerogative on this issue and agreed to non-sworn inten/iews. For the record, it 
was nnade dear that if the Select Subcommittee was dissatisfied with the conduct of these 
interviews, it had not waived its prerogative to issue and serve subpoenas compelling the 
public servants' appearance for sworn depositions. 

The Subcommittee is adamant, however, that there is no basis in taw for staff of the 
NSC to refuse to appear before authorized Congressional subcommittees and give sworn 
testimony demanded by a valid subpoena on matters pertinent to the legislative inquiry. 

" Mun^y notes from NSC meeting (July 23,1996). 

" Mun^y notes from Hyde-Quinn meeting (Sept. 17. 1996). 

" Letter from Pocker and Meltzer to Quinn (Aug. 2, 1996). See Appendix B. 

" Letter from Quinn to Hyde (Aug. 14. 1996). See Appendix B. 


Congress "is entitled to have" a witness under subpoena give nonprivileged "testimony 
pertinent to the inquiry. . . before the (authorized] committee."" The interest of the 
Executive Branch in preserving the confidentiality of privileged material is fully protected 
by appearing in response to the subpoena but asserting privilege in the event the witness 
is asked questions which call for privileged material." To the extent NSC staff believe that 
questions or document requests propounded by the Subcommittee through its staff call for 
privileged material, the NSC may invoke such privileges through the proper procedural 
mechanism. Short of making a specific claim of privilege, however, NSC staff cannot lay 
claim to any immunity from the obligation to give sworn testimony in response to a valid 
subpoena for pertinent information. Such refusal to appear and be placed under oath in 
response to such a subpoena would be grounds for a citation for contempt of Congress." 

The NSC staff cannot claim or be granted immunity from answering subpoenas. 
First, the White House's assertion that this policy of not appearing for depositions has been 
a long-standing tradition of the NSC is incon-ect. Former NSC aide Oliver North 
involuntarily testified before Congress." NSC aide David Wigg testified before a federal 
grand jury.^ National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and two former NSC staff 
members were called as witnesses before a Senate investigative subcommittee,** and the 
House Ethics Committee subpoenaed Lawrence Eagleburger, Brent Scowcroft and Robert 
Hyland. all of whom were NSC staff." 

* McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U.S. 135. 180 (1927) (hereinafter "McQrain!). 

'' 2 Opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel 197 (Sept. 6. 1978). 1978 OLC Lexis 
50. at 205. 


» United States v. Notlh. 901 F.2d 843. 851 (D.C. Cir.) (per curiam), qd 
tBheaonq. 920 F.2d 940 (D.C. CIr. 1990) (per curiam), cftft. denied. 500 U.S. 541 

" G. Lardner. Wallarh Soupht $1 Million; Meese Ally Asked Client to Su DDOrt 
•Washington Presence' on Pipeline . Washington Post. Mar. 6. 1988. 

* G. Lardner. Bill y Probers to Question A Carter Aide . Washington Post, Sept. 
16. 1980.atA12. 

* C. Babcock & S. Armstrong. Fthirs Cnmmittee to Call 4 Officials: Committee to 
Call 4 in S- Korean Probe; Subpoenas Voted In Investigation of S. Korean Gifts . 


The Administration's argument that these precedents are distinguishable in that they 
involved investigations into violations of federal criminal laws whereas the Select 
Subcommittee's investigation is essentially a matter of oversight, is spurious. The 
Supreme Court has not limited the power of investigation to cases involving allegations 
of criminal misconduct, nor has the Court accorded less weight to the congressional 
interest in oversight as compared to investigating crimes. To the contrary, the Supreme 
Court has held that the congressional investigatory power 'encompasses inquiries 
concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed 
statutes.' in addition to 'probes into departments of the Federal Government to expose 
corruption, inefficiency or waste."^' 

Second, no official within the Executive Branch of government - not even the 
President himself - enjoys blanket immunity from the obligation to comply with valid 
subpoenas. If the President lacks blanket immunity from the subpoena power, it follows, 
a fortiod, that NSC staff lack such immunity.** There is an obligation to testify in 
appropriate instances that applies equally to all federal officials and that derives specifically 
from the right of Congress to oversee the faithful execution of the laws by the President 
and his administration."" Although a number of recognized privileges, such as executive 
privilege "may shield an official from answering some or all congressional questions if they 
fail to meet the standard of 'right to know,' there is no basis for a constitutional doctrine that 
some officials need not even appear to hear the legislators' questions because they are 
wrapped in privilege as to every aspect of their knowledge or activity."*^ 

Moreover, according to the Supreme Court: 

A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively in the absence of 
information . . . and where the legislative body does not itself possess the 
requisite informatton - whk:h not infrequently is true - recourse must be had 

Washington Post, June 9. 1977. at A1. 

^ Watkins v. United States , 354 U.S. 178. 187 (1957). 

» Cf. tJixon V. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731. 750 (1982) ("The President's unique 
statuS'under the Constitution distinguishes him from other executive officials.*) 

** Franck. Comment: The Constitutional and Legal Position of the Nationa! 
Security Advisor and Deputy Advisor , 74 Am. J. Int'l L. 634, 637 (1980). 

^ Id. at 638 (citing t Inited States y. Nuqd, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)). 



to others who do possess it. Experience has taught that mere requests for 
such information which is volunteered is not always accurate and complete; 
so some means of compulsion are essential to obtain what is needed.*' 

In short, the Supreme Court, has ruled that "[t]he power of inquiry - with process 
to enforce it - is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function."*^ and "is 
inherent in the power to make laws."*' 

The President's Intelligence Oversight Board 

In order to do as thorough a job as possible investigating the Iranian green light, the 
Subcommittee attempted to review previous efforts. Principal among them was the 
investigation undertaken by the President's Intelligence Oversight Board (lOB) in 1995. 
The lOB investigation had been undertaken at the direction of White House Counsel Abner 
Mikva, and rt was upon its findings that the White House Counsel reached his legal 
conclusions. Accordingly, on July 26, 1996, Chairman Hyde requested a copy of the lOB's 
report to the President on the Iranian arms matter. The Subcommittee also requested a 
list of names of the individuals interviewed by the lOB during the course of its investigation 
and any memoranda of those interviews.** 

On August 5, 1996. Anthony Hamngton, Chaimnan of the lOB rejected the request 
for these documents.** In their discussrans with the Subcommittee, the White House and 
lOB never asserted privilege, either executive or attorney-client. Their argument was 
simply that disclosure of the report and the underlying documents would "do violence" to 
the lOB's ability to obtain a truthful and complete accounting of events from government 
officials. The lOB was unable to answer the Subcommittee's question of why the lOB's 
public release, a few months eariier, of its findings on its investigation of intelligence 
activities in Guatemala under the Reagan and Bush Administrations, had not done more 

*' McGrata at 175. 

** Id. at 174. 

*» Eastland v. l InHftd Statas Servicemen's Fund . 421 U.S. 491 , 504 (1975). 

** Letters from Hyde to Anthony S. Harrington (hereinafter "Harrington"), 
Chairman. Intelligence Oversight Board (July 26, 1996 and Aug. 13, 1996); letter from 
Hyde and Hamilton to Lake (July 26, 1996). See Appendix B. 

** Letter from Harrington to Hyde (Aug. 5. 1996). Sfifi Appendix B. 


'damage* than sharing the Iranian green light findings with Congress behind closed doors. 
The lOB did argue that the public release of the Guatemala findings was necessary due 
to the confused state of the record on the matter.** That may very well have been the 
case, but the Subcommittee notes that the same confusion reigns in the Iranian green light 

After much negotiation the White House did eventually relent to providing the 
Subcommittee with a written list of the individuals the lOB interviewed in the preparation 
of its Iranian green light report.*' 

On the issue of testifying before the Subcommittee under oath and on the record, 
Harrington, similar to the NSC staff, also refused, on advisement from the White House. 
The information he provided to the Sut>committee was through an unswom interview, 
without a court reporter present to make a verbatim transcript. 

The Subcommittee strongly believes that, in this case, the Administration's refusal 
to give Congress access to the lOB report has actually done real damage to the integrity 
of the lOB's investigatory process. Based upon the infomnation the White House has 
provided from the report, the Subcommittee concludes that at least two individuals 
interviewed by the lOB withheld relevant documentary information and some may have 
provided contradictory statements to the lOB and Congress. These individuals are, 
however, now safe in the knovi^edge that it is impossible to document these actions 
because of the lOB's claim of 'privilege.' 

Finally, the Select Subcommittee is concerned that the Administration has publicly 
cited this lOB report to exonerate the Administration of wrong doing in the Iranian green 
light policy, but refuses to allow Congress to examine the report or to allow its author to 
testify under oath about it so as to allow the Subcommittee to verify its accuracy or 
authority. Democratic Senator Rot)ert Kerrey has expressed similar concerns: 

I think this entity ... is veiy badly named as an oversight board, and cannot, 
under any circumstances. vindKate the Presklent If there is a daim of oversight - 
if there is a daim of Executive Privilege and a daim of vindk^ation simultaneously, 
one of those two has to fall. 

** Select Subcommittee Interview with Anthony Harrington (hereinafter 
■Harrington InL"), July 25,1996, at 7. 

*^ Letter from Harrington to IHyde (Sept 20. 1996). See Appendix B. 


Let me isolate two mistakes. One is in implying because it has a 
name - Oversight Board ~ that it is an oversight board. It's not. 

Plhere's been some references that the President w^as vindicated by 
an oversight board, and that leaves an impression with the citizen that this 
is different than what I think this organization is. 

The second mistake was sending Mr. Hamngton to the Hill at all. I 
mean. I really think he should not have been sent up to Capitol Hill to srt 
before this Committee with a report that he would read but not be able to 
leave with the Committee.** 


Unlike some of the other Congressional examinations of the Iranian green light, the 
Select Subcommittee enjoys a broad mandate as charted out in House Resolution 416. In 
order to conduct an authentic oversight investigation. H.Res. 416 bestowed upon the 
Chairman of the Select Subcommittee, "upon consultation with the ranking minority party 
member of the Select Subcommittee." the authority to take "affidavits and depositions 
pursuant to notice or subpoena.* Authorized subpoenas may be signed by the Chairman 
of the Select Subcommittee. Furthermore, the resolution provided that such depositions 
and affidavits could be conducted by staff as "designated by the chairman of the Select 

The Subcommittee conskjered the issuance of subpoenas on several occasions, 
sometimes to the extent of having them prepared for service: once to get the White House 
to comply with requests for NSC documents and depositions; twice to get the White House 
to produce lOB materials; and twice to compel the Secretary of State to produce requested 
documents. On eanh occasion the issuance was avoided by either the capitulation of the 
Executive Branch or by Chairman Hyde's negotiating a compromise whereby the Select 
Sutxxxnmittee couk) get access to cntk:ally required information without urKJermining either 
the Select Subcommittee's rights to do legitimate oversight or the Executive Branch's 
asserted privileges. Throughout this process, considering the very limited time made 

** Hearing on US Actions Regarding Iranian Arms Shipments into Bosnia before 
the Senate Setact Committee on Intelligence . 104th Cong. (May 28. 1996) (statement 
of Vice Chairman Robert Kerrey). 

** House Resolution 416. 104th Cong. (1995). Sea Appendix B. 


available for it to do its work, the Subcommittee has preferred to compromise in order to 
do as complete a job as possible rather than join in divisive and counterproductive public 
battles with the Administration. 


The Select Subcommittee on July 26, 1996.^ asked the State Department to 
declassify Ambassador Galbraith's two reporting cables (Zagreb 1683 and Zagreb 1721 ), 
dated April 27 and 29, 1994, as well as a memorandum to the file he prepared, dated May 
6. 1994.'* These documents are absolutely key to any coherent discussion of the genesis 
and implementation of the green light policy. They were prepared contemporaneously with 
key developments and can be used in verifying the accuracy of testimony. The matters 
discussed in these documents, excepting a few brief phrases, are not diplomatically 
sensitive and their public disclosure would not compromise national security or intelligence 
information or technk]ues. Additk>nally the substance of large portions of these documents 
has t>een testified to in public testimony t>efore various Congressional committees by 
Ambassadors Galbraith and Rednrtan, Undersecretary Tamoff, and Deputy Secretary 
Talt>ott, with noticeable elisions of inconvenient facts and with a 'spin' not substantiated 
in the documents. Nonetheless, after over one month of delit)erations and several missed 
deadlines, the Department of State finally decided not to declassify any part of the two 
cables and only declassified approximately one-half of the memorandum to the file.'' 

Clearly demonstrating the Administration's efforts to hkie its actions t)ehind the 
shroud of dassificatnn is the feet that several sentences and phrases were redacted from 
the nnenfK>randum that were dearty undassified, tHJt which would have been embarrassing 
to the Administratk^n if they were known. For example, charaderizations by a senior 
Department of State offk;ial of Washington's inept and confused handling of the initial 
request from the Croatians about Iranian arms transshipments. 

Based upon this highly unsatisfactory response. Chairman Hyde wrote letters to the 

'° Letter from Hyde, Hamilton and Gilman to Christopher (July 26, 1996). See 
Appendbc B. 

'^ These are some of the documents that the State Department refused to altow 
the Subcommittee to have in its possesson. Accordingly, they are currently availat>le 
only at the Department arid cannot be induded in this report's appendices. 


A copy of the redaded document is induded in Appendix B. 


Information Security Oversight Office and the Interagency Security Classification Appeals 
Panel on September 26. 1996" reporting the Department of State's apparent violation of 
the Clinton Administration's own Executive Order 12958. in which are laid out the proper 
uses of classification. Specifically, the Department appears to be in violation of the Order's 
forbidding the classification of information to "prevent embarrassment to a person, 
organization, or agency.*** Chairman Hyde advised the House of his action in a floor 
statement on September 26, 1996.** The Subcommittee heard telephonically from the 
Information Security Oversight on October 2, that an investigation is undenway.** 

More recently, the Department of State refused the Subcommittee's request that it 
declassify portions of the contemporaneous notes kept by fomier State Department official 
Alexander Vershbow. The Subcommittee agrees that those portions that reference 
confidential discussions with foreign heads of state are legitimately classified. It is. 
however, unconscionable to refuse, as the Administration has. to declassify those portions 
of the notes that detail conversations between US govemment officials on the execution 
of what is now a publicly revealed policy. 

" Letter from Hyde to Steven GarfinKel (hereinafter 'Garfinke!'). Director. 
Infbnfnation Security Oversight. Natfonal Archives (Sept 26. 1996); letter from Hyde to 
Rostyn Mazer, Chair. Interagency Security Classificatnn Appeals Panel. US 
Department of Justice (Sept. 26, 1996). See Appendix B. 

^ Executive Order 12958. Sectnn 1.8 (2). 

»• 142 Cong. Record H1 1360 (No. 135 Sept 26. 1996) (Statements of Hyde). 

*• Letter from Garfinke! to Hyde (Oct 1. 1996). Sea Appendix B. 




Origins of the lOB Investigation 

In the fall of 1994, based upon a variety of intejijg ence reports from several sources, ^^^ 
and operational messages fromWBMIMWBBJyand elsewhere. Director of Central ^^y 
Intelligence (DC!) James Woolsey, became alarmed that members of the Clinton ^^' 
Administration may have been involved in an illegal covert action. He was concemed that 
an improper and unauthorized diplomatic activity was qccuning, which was helping Iran 
circumvent the UN arms embargo in the Balkans.'^J^^ 

As Woolsey examined the information that had been compiled for him.' he realized 
the situation under review was related to a matter he had first become aware of in early 
May 1994. In the ainent case, as before, there were strong indications that something 
was askew in the implementation of the US policy enforcing the Bosnian amns embargo 
as interpreted in the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia. Woolsey quickly decided to seek 
guidance and advice from National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. That meeting 
occurred on October 5, 1994.* 

During that meeting, Woolsey shared with Lake the information he had indicating 
a possible US role in facilitating or acquiescing in the Iranian shipment of weapons to 
Bosnia by way of Croatia.' As a result of that meeting, on October 14, National Security 
Council (NSC) officials, including Senior Director of Intelligence Programs George Tenet 

' Select Subcommittee Deposition of James Woolsey. SepL 13. 1996. at 29. 
(hereinafter "Woolsey Dep.*). 

' CIA Memorandum by^HHHiv4'T3"^"9 Points for the DCI's Weekly 
Meetings" (Sept 30. 1994).^^ 

' NSC document. 30, Nov. 16. 1994; CIA Memorandum by0BBVHBs 
Talking Poinjg f or the DCI 's jl^eekly Meetings* (Segt. 30, 1994); CIA Memorandum for 
the RecordMBHBBBHOcL 14. 1994).. 

* CIA Memorandum for the RecordJVHIBBaif(OcL 14. 1994): Woolsey 
Dep. at 53-54^ 


and Deputy Legal Advisor James Baker.' met with officials from the CIA to undertake a 
preliminary investigation and to obtain copies of relevant documents.* 

On November 1, 1994, NSC Legal Advisor Alan Kreczko met with White House 
Counsel Abner Mikva to discuss the issues raised at the Woolsey-Lake meeting.' At about 
the same time. Mikva met with Lake and White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta for the 
same reason." 

In response to some of the legal issues raised in its preliminary investigation, Baker 
wrote a legal memorandum analyzing the issues presented. That memorandum for the 
record was dated November 7, 1994. According to oral, unswom statements by NSC staff, 
that memo attempts to clarify the distinction between covert activities and diplomatic 

On November 29. Mikva met with Anthony Hanington, Chairman of the President's 
Intelligence Oversight Board.'" The two men discussed the question of US complicity in 

Not to be confused with former Secretary of State James A. Baker. III. 

• Handwritten list of attendees at October 14. 1994, meeting with George Tenet 
at CIA headquarters, CIA document label 94-339. Oct. 14. 1994; CIA Menvsrandum by 

jrandum ogj * assage of Operational File to NSC Q^rge 
^Tenet/jCIA CaETe.lPMiflHHOct. 15. 1994; CIA Memorandum byflpM 
MBB^Telephone Call to Georgeienet' (Oct. 17. 1994); CIA Memorandum for the 
Record "Meeting with George Tenet from NSC re Croatian Issues" (Oct. 14. 1994). 

^ NSC document. 29. Nov. 16. 1994. 

* Select Subcommittee Interview of Anthony S. Hanington. July 25, 1996, at 1 
(hereinafter 'Harrington Int'). 

NSC document. 34. Nov. 16. 1994. 

*" The lOB was first established by President Ford in 1976. Since then, the lOB 
has had specific White House oversight responsibilities for intelligence activities. 

President Clinton established the current lOB in 1993, pursuant to Executive 
Order 12863. Under that Executive Order, the lOB is charged with preparing reports of 
intelligence activities the lOB t>elieves may be unlawful or contrary to executive order or 
presidential directive. See Executive Order 12863. The lOB is directed to refer reports 
to the Attorney General if wrongdoing is believed to have occurred. 


the Iranian circumvention of the UN arms embargo. During this meeting, the lOB was 
assigned the task of investigating the arms embargo violations issues presented by the US 
actions in the Ball^ans. 

The lOB's investigative mandate was framed very narrowly by White House Counsel 
Mikva. The lOB's directive was nanower in scope than the Select Subcommittee's charter. 
as found in H.Res. 416. The issues before the lOB were: 

1 . Whether Ambassador Galbrarth or Ambassador Redman was directly 
involved in assisting an arms shipment pass through Croatia to 
Bosnia in May 1994, in violation of the UN Arms Embargo; 

2. Whether the "no instmctions" message to Croatian President Franjo 
Tudjman by Ambassadors Galbraith and Redman constituted illegal 
covert activity; and 

3. Whether Ambassador Galbraith and Assistant Secretary of State for 
European and Canadian Affairs. Richard Holbrooke, made any offers 
to provide amns or funds to the Bosnian or Croatian Govemments?" 

Conduct of the lOB Investigation 

The lOB conducted its investigatton by reviewing the intelligence and operational 
infomnation underlying the initial concerns of the DCl. The IDS also reviewed additional 
intelligence that was made available from other non-CIA sources. Several current and 
former US government officials were inten/iewed by the lOB. Captain David Wesley 
(USAF) of the lOB staff was assigned to work with the lOB members in the investigation 
and the preparation of the report 

Anthony S. Harrington is the current Chairman of the lOB. He is a senfor partner 
at the Washington. D.C. law finn of Hogan and Hartson. Prior to his service with the 
lOB. Mr. Harrington sensed as General Counsel to the Clinton-Gore 1992 presklential 

Mr. Harrington's felkw Board members included former Deputy Director of the 
Natk)nal Security Agency Ann Caracristi and Philadelphia businessman Harold W. 

" Harrington Int at 1-3. 


The individuals interviewed by the lOB were: 

Department of State 

Warren Christopher, Secretary 
Peter Tamoff. Under Secretary/Policy 
Richard Holbrooke. Assistant Secretary for European Affairs 
Charles Redman, Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia 
Peter Galbraith, Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia 
Ronald Neitzke. Deputy Chief of Mission. Zagreb, Croatia 
Jenonne Walker, Ambassador to the Czech Republic (former Senior Director 
for European Affairs at the NSC) 

National Security Council 

Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor 

Alexander Vershbow. Senior Director for European Affairs (former 

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and 
Canadian Affairs) 

Department of Defense 

Walter Slocombe. Undersecretary for Policy 

General Wesley Clark, Commander in Chief, US Southem Command (former 

Director of the Office for Strategic Policy and Planning. Joint Chiefs) 
Major General Ed Hanion, US Marine Corps HQ 

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hemck. former Defense Attache. Zagreb, Croatia 
Colonel John Sadler, current Defense Attache. Zagreb, Croatia 
Colonel Clifton Schroeder. US Marine Corps Reserve, European Command 

LNO, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina 
Colonel Davkl Hunt. US Army. Sarajevo. Bosnia-Herzegovina 

Central Intelligence Agency 

R. James Woolsey. former Director of Central tntefligence 
Jmiral WPIiam Studeman, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence 

Tchief of Interagency Balkan Task Force 

Theodore Price, former Dsputy Director of Operatkms 
Douglas MacEachin. former Deputy Director for Intelligence 


Harrington stated that the interview process was very infomnal. The lOB interviews 
were not conducted under oath. None of the individuals interviewed were informed of the 
applicability of Title 18, United States Code. § 1001, which makes it a crime to provide a 
material false statement during the course of an investigation conducted by an agency of 
the Executive branch. Harrington also stated that no verbatim text of any of the interviews 
exist. The only memorialization of the interviews would be the notes taken by the 

The lOB concluded its investigation by mid-May 1995. White House Counsel Mikva, 
presented the lOB's report to the President on May 17, 1995." 

Findings of the iOB Investigation 

The IOB reached the foltowing factual conclusions, which are addressed, seriatim. 

The IOB review found that Ambassador Galbraith did not take any action to facilitate 
or direct the release of a Bosnia-txsund convoy that had been stopped in Croatia in eariy 
May 1994. The IOB did find, however, that it had been provided conflicting information 
regarding the role of Amt>assador Redman with respect to this particular convoy. CIA 
officials stated that the Bosnians asked Redman to help obtain the release of the convoy 
during negotiations in Vienna on the future of the Bosnian Federation. The IOB, however, 
deenned Ambassador Redman's conduct as 'diplomatic discusstons,' insofar as he simply 
removed a njpiog diment to negotiations that had arisen due to the stoppage of the 
convoy." AMMsfficial woridng with Ambassador Redman in Vienna stated that Redman 
had been advised of the problem by the Bosnians and may have taken steps to get it 
released because the issue was not raised again in the negotiations. Ambassador 
Redman stated, however, that he had taken no action obtaining the release of this 
particular convoy. The IOB further found that even if Redman had taken action, the IOB 

J^ List of IOB Interviewees. Select Subcommittee Doc. 000003, Sept. 20, 1996. 
" Harrir^on Int. at 6. 
'* NSC document. 39, July 28. 1995. 


Hanir>gton Int at 2. 


did not believe he was aware that the convoy contained weapons/* 

For this issue, based on the factual conclusions made by the lOB, White House 
Counsel decided that Ambassador Galbraith's and Ambassador Redman's actions did not 
fall within the definition of covert activity. 

With respect to the secorMJ issue, the lOB concluded that Ambassador Galbraith's 
and Redman's statements to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman were consistent with the 
"no instructions' policy approved by Washington. Additionally, the lOB found that Galbraith 
had t}een instmcted not to report back, in writing, the result of his communications with the 
Croatian President." The decision not to document the communication between the 
Ambassadors and the Croatian Government was beyond the scope of the lOB's 
investigative mandate." 

The White House Counsel reached the legal conclusion on this issue that in 
delivering the "no instructions* message, Galbraith and Redman were following their 
instnjctions property and had not engaged in covert action.^' 

With respect to the third issue, the lOB was unable to reach a conclusion as to 
exactly what had been discussed by Ambassadors Galbraith and Holbrooke with Bosnian 
jnd Croatian g ovemment officiaj gjn thejg ll of 1994. The lOB was unable to disprove 
^JM^BP^M^eporting thatypB|Ahe two Ambassadors had discussed SF>ecific 
covert action proposals with foreign offlcials. However, the panel believed these 
discussions probably involved little more than 'contingency plans in the event the embargo 
was lifted.'^ The lOB found no evkj^n^ that actual promises of funds or weapons were 
made by the US officialSj^ 

Mikva concluded that legally these conversations were nothing more than 



at 3. 


at 3. 

" Id. at 2. 


at 4-5. 


at 5. 


hypothetical discussions or items under consideration among the parties to the 
negotiations. Because nothing concrete was promised, White House Counsel found that 
no covert action occurred as a result of these discussions.^' 

Limitations of ttie iOB Report 

Despite the generally favorable findings set forth above, the White House, as 
discussed in Chapter 6, refused to noake the IOB report available to the Subcommittee for 
its review. The White House insisted that it only provide an oral briefing on the report 
without a verbatim transcript The White House also refused the Subcommittee's request 
to review the documentation compiled in the preparation of the IOB report, such as the 
notes of interviews. Accordingly, the Sut>committee can judge the IOB report based only 
on the information it has been provided. 

That said, it is evident that the IOB investigation cannot be looked to for authoritative 
answers to many of the questions relating to the Iranian green light policy that have been 
put before the Subcommittee. In addition to the tOB's scope of inquiry being extremely 
narrow, the report was prepared without benefit of interviews of key participants in the 
events in question. Similarly, some of the indivkJuals interviewed did not provide the IOB 
with access to relevant materials and, it appears, some of those interviewed did not 
respond truthfully or completely. The IOB investigation appears to have been less than 
thorough and insufficient to support the conclusk>ns reached. 

First, the Subcommittee notes that the IOB never interviewed Deputy Secretary of 
State Strobe Talbott rK>r IDeputy National Security Advisor Samuel ("Sandy*) Berger^ about 
their participation in the implementation of the President's Iranian green light decision. 

in Chapter 8, we explain how these two individuals were in key positions during the 
period in question. It is sufficient here to note that Talbott, the second highest State 
Departnrtent official in the Administration, and the highest ranking State Department official 
in the United States at ttie tune tfie decision was made.^ was traveling with the President 


' See IOB List of Witnesses, supca note 12. Cf. Select Subcommittee List of 
Depositions and Interviews, See Chapter 5. 

" Select Subcommittee Deposition of Thomas Donilon. Sept. 12, 1996, at 8-15. 
Secretary Christopher was traveling in Egypt 


when the green light issue was forwarded to the President." Meanwhile, Berger had been 
in charge of the NSC; National Security Advisor Lake was traveling with the President. 

Harrington has explained that the lOB was not concerned with how the policy was 
formulated, but rather with the narrow questions of whether the policy was properly 
implemented and whether the actions of any US government officials violated US law.* 
Key to the first question, however, is understanding what exactly the policy was that 
Ambassador Galbraith and other US diplomats were to have earned out. To do that, it is 
necessary to determine Talbott's and Berger's understanding of that policy as given to 
them by the President and how they expected it to be implemented. The lOB's failure to 
interview these two key participants in the policy process seriously limits the value of the 
JOB investigation. 

Second, the Select Subcommittee questions the degree to which individuals 
interviewed by the lOB were honest and forthcoming. Although the White House refuses 
to disclose any statements of the JOB witnesses to the Select Subcommittee for review, 
the lOB Chairman has stated that the lOB found no reason to make any criminal referrals 
to the Justice Department based upon probable false statements made during the course 
of the lOB's investigation. This leads the Subcommittee to surmise that the witnesses to 
the lOB investigation gave statements, which contradict their testimony before the Select 
Subcommittee, or the lOB is somehow unaware of significant factual inconsistencies in 
various wKnesses' statements that have emerged in the Select Sut)committee's 
investigation. One example, of many, which are developed in the following chapters, 
p>ertains to the clear and material contradictions of several witnesses in the purported 
transmittal of the 'no instructions* policy from Anthony Lake *with a raised eyebrow and 
a smile.* The differences in the testimonies allows one to interpret the Administration's 
policy as being strictly "No instructions. Period,"" as Anthony Lake put it, or "a wink and 
a nod' as stated by Ambassador Galbraith. 

" Select Subcommittee DeposKion of Strobe Talbott, SepL 5, 1996. at 30; Select 
Subcommittee Interview of Samuel Berger, Sept. 26. 1996. at 1. 

" Harrington Int. at 1 (scope of lOB inquiry narrower than Select 
Subcommittee's). 2 (". . . [t]he lOB review was primarily concemed with determining if 
the actions involving US officials would have fallen within the definition of 'covert 
activity."). 6 (*. . . [t]he lOB does not investigate policy.*). 

" Select Subcommittee Interview of Anthony Lake, SepL 26. 1996. at 2. 


Finally, it has emerged Oiat some of the individuals whom the lOB interviewed, did 
not provide the lOB with highly relevant and contemporaneous records of events under 
investigation which they had in their possession. Specifically, Ambassador Galbraith and 
former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alexander ("Sandy") Vershtxjw t>oth 
made contemporaneous records of events involved in the lOB's inquiry. That they did not 
share these documents with the lOB, despite the lOB's request for such materials, is 

In the case of Ambassador Galbraitn, he kept a daily "Record' of his activities - as 
Ambassador to Croatia - in which he documented several highly relevant meetings that 
are key to understanding whether or not he had acted consistently with the instmctions 
provided him by the Department of State. The head of the lOB, Hanington. only leamed 
of the 'Record' in the course of his interview with the Select Subcommittee. The 
Subcommittee, itself, learned of the "Record's" existence from Galbraith's former secretory, 
Chariotte Stottman, to whom the "Record" was dictated.* 

Similarly, H also appears the lOB was never told that Vershbow," who participated 
in many of the telegraphic and telephone communk:ations between the embassy in Croatia 
and the State Department, kept contemporaneous handwritten notes of those 
communications.^ The Subcommittee has found those documents invaluable to its efforts 
to reconstruct the events, especially since the Administration saw to it that the events being 
scrutinized by the Subcommittee are largely otherwise undocumented. The descriptions 

" See Select Subcommittee Deposition of Chariotte Stottman, Aug. 10, 1996, at 
15-20. ("Q: Can you tell us what the Record is? A: Well , the Record started in - the 
Record ended in November of 1995. It started - I think it started and lasted for atx)ut 
10 days in 1993 and then it picked back up - it picked back up. I think, late '93. The 
first one picked up and erKJed in atxHit 10 days around September, I think of. 1993. and 
then in November of 1993 he started a second one. and it went until I went on honrie 
leave on February Ist. and ttien he didn't dk:tate it while I was gone. He picked tt back 
up when I retumed to post in May. Q: When you came back May 1 , 1994, you had 
been gone a good two-and-a-half, three months? A: Three months. Q: At that tinoe dkl 
Ambassador Galbraith need to catch up on the Record? A: He dM some catching up.*) 

^ Mr. Vershbow currently serves as the Senk>r Deputy in the Directorate for 
European Affairs at the NSC. 

* Notes of Alexander Vefshbow, fonner Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of 
State: Select Subcommittee Depositton of Alexander Vershbow, Aug. 8. 1996. at 5-12. 


of events found in Vershbow's notes, tend to be at odds with the public gloss the Clinton 
Administration has put on the Iranian green light. Mis notes display the lack of serious 
discussion leading up to the President's decision, which led ultimately to the Iranians 
establishing their strategic beachhead in the heart of Europe. Had the lOB been aware of 
the notes, it might not have played such a prominent role in the application of that gloss. 




The decision by the Clinton Administration to give the Iranians and Croatians a 
'green light' to throw the door open to Iranian weaponry, personnel and influence in the 
Balkans was reached and implemented hastily in an uninformed haze of confusion. In 
exploring the origins of the decision, which reflected a major departure from this country's 
prior policy toward both Iran and the UN arms embargo, the Select Subcommittee 
encountered staricly conflicting testinrx>ny from individuals involved in the process, as well 
as significant discrepancies between contemporaneous documentation and the 
Administration's after-the-fact rationalizations of its conduct. Those inconsistencies and 
discrepancies represented a significant challenge to our ability to set forth with 
the factual record necessary to explain the origin of the decision to acquiesce in the 
establishment of the Iranian arms pipeline. Nevertheless, this chapter will review the 
relevant facts and contentions as revealed in the course of the investigation with a view 
toward answering as best we can how such a decision came to be made and implemented. 

This chapter is, for purposes of organizational clarity, divided into three sections. 
In the first section, we have set forth the denranstrated US policy and reaction to Iranian 
efforts to establish an arms pipeline through Croatia from August 1992, through the 
summer of 1993. This section provides the background essential for understanding the 
radical departure reflected by the April 1994 Iranian green light decision. 

The second section describes the relevant events between Ambassador Peter 
Galbraith's July 1993 arrival at his post in Croatia and April 1994, with a view toward 
describing how Galbraith, Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak, US Special Envoy 
Charles Redman, various Iranian surrogates and others orchestrated a situation in which 
a radicat departure from established US policy toward Iran was not only contemplated but 
approved at the highest levels of the US government 

The third section provides a detailed expositk>n of what the Select Subcommittee 
has t>een able to determine regarding the operatwnal details attendant to the new polic/s 
genesis, implementatksn and immediate aftermath in 1994. It is, of necessity, intensely 
detailed and inherently complicated, but has been presented in this fulsome manner to 
allow the reader to reach his own judgment about the Clinton Administratton's corxJuct and 
Its consequences. 


No Question — "We Have A Policy" 

In order to minimize the gravity of its decision not to inform Congress of the Iranian 
green light decision, the Administration has attempted to argue throughout the Select 
Subcommittee's investigation that the decision did not constitute a change in policy/ 
Although some of the witnesses from the Department of State have testified that, in their 
opinion, US policy toward the amis embargo did not change in April 1994, no one has ever 
been so disingenuous as to suggest that the decision was consistent with the US policy 
of isolating Iran diplomatically, economically and politically. Moreover, numerous witnesses 
testified that, as they understood it, US policy toward the UN arms embargo in the spring 
of 1994 was exactly as Ambassador Galbraith described it in late April of 1994: the US 
respects the arms embargo and expects other nations to do so, as well.^ 

The significant departure from prior policy represented by the Clinton 
Administration's Iranian green light decision can only be appreciated when contrasted with 
the response of the Bush Administration to the efforts of the Iranians and Croatians to 
transship arms through Croatia to Bosnia in September 1992.* By swiftly and conclusively 
informing the Croatian govemment that the United States did not approve of the Iranians 
violating the UN arms embargo, bringing weapons and soldiers to Croatia, and using 
Croatia as a transshipment point for arming Bosnian Muslims, the Bush Administration left 
no doubt in the minds of the Croatians or the Iranians about American opposition to Iranian 
involvement in the Balkan crisis. Although the Bush Administration knew that some 
leakage of the arms embargo was occurring, it would not countenance an Iranian arms 
pipeline and demanded, through a demarche, that the Croatians shut it down. 

The Bush Administratton let the Croatis 
Iranian arms pipeline was not to t>e condoned.i 

Lknow by words as well as deeds that the 

^Eg.. See Hearing On US Actions Regarding Iranian Arms Transfers Into Bosnia 
Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence . 104 Cong. 65 (May 23, 1996) 
(Testimony of Strobe Talbott). 

' E4).. See Select Subcommittee Deposition of Robert l-iunter. Sept 20, 1996. at 
8. 1 1-14. 41-42 (hereinafter "Hunter Dep.'): Select Subcommittee Deposition of General 
Wesley Clark. Sept 4. 1996. at 7-13 (hereinafter 'Clark Dep.*). 

* See Chapter 13. 


Despite this "worry," tfie Croatian Government tested the US with the Iranian arms 
shipment in September of 1992 and provided the senior official with a chance to convey 
the US objections strongly. On Labor Day weekend 1992, he was sent to Croatia to 
engage his Croatian contacts on the issue of the impounded Iranian arms shipment. He 
met with Zuzul and advised him, in no uncertain terms, to send the arms back to Iran.' 
Coupled with a United States demarche, a demand by the United States that the amns 
delivery be reported to the UN and a request by Charge Ronald Neitzke of US Embassy 
Zagreb to UNPROFOR to seize the arms, the CIA official's message as to the United 
States' view on Iranian arms could not have been clearer.' 

ifthe Central Intelligence Agency has been able to 

deterfirrrie, the attempted Iranian arms pipeline was shut down in September 1992 and 
remained djised until the Clinton Administration's Iranian Green Light decision in the spring 
of 1994 Jp 

On January 20, 1993 Bill Clinton was inaugurated PreskJent As noted earlier in this 

* Select 
11 (hereinafter 

imittee Deposition ol 

ug. 15. 1996. at 6- 

• Select Subcommittee Depositfon of Ronald Neitzke. Aug. 7. 1996, at 13-23 
(hereinafter 'Neitzke Dep.*). 

Dep. at8-11. 

|Dep. at 11-13.^^^ 


report, the Clinton Adnninistration expressed its intention to honor the UN arms embargo 
as long as it was in effect.* The Clinton Administration also expressed strongly its policy 
of isolating Iran diplomatically, economically and militarily.^° There was certainly nothing 
in its public discussion of arms embargo policy or the policy toward Iran that would lead 
foreign governments in the spring of 1993 to conclude that the United States would react 
differently to the establishment of an Iranian arms pipeline through Croatia than it had in 
September of 1992. The US had made a clear decision that UN Security Council 
Resolution 713 applied to all of the former Yugoslavia and that "all arms embargo violations 
should be investigated and where appropriate prosecuted."" 

Events confirm that the Iranians ai 
policy on Iranian arms transshipments 

he Croatians understood the US no-nonsense 

In February of 1993, the Turks and Iranians separately approaj 
Govemment about the transshipment of arms to the Bosnian Muslims. 

the Croatian 

* See Chapter 3. 
'"See Chapter 4. 


Departmeot of State Cable, 82580, Mar. 22, 1993 


The Croatian Government was clearly not willing to risk the ire of the United States. 


In April 1993, Susak asked the US Special Envoy for the Former Yugoslavia, 
Reginald Bartholomew, for the US view on Croatia's facilitation of Iranian arms shipments 
to Bosnia. Bartholomew urged Susak to t>e careful in dealing with iran.^'' Bartholomew told 
him that the United States could not be placed in the position of supporting Croatia in 
transshipping Iranian arms and that it was Croatia's decision to make. Bartholomew went 
on to say that the US could not be put in the positk>n of advising the Government of Croatia 
to supply Iranian arms to the Bosnian Government.^ Ron Neitzke, serving as the 
American Charge in Croatia in these pre-ambassadorial times, was informed by 
Bartholomew of the Susak question and his response.^' Subsequent events in the next 
few months revealed that Susak dk) not perceive Bartholomew's response as American 
approval for such transshipments. 

Around May 7, 1993. Presklent Tudjnnan discussed with Charge Neitzke the 

^* Department of State Cable. Zagreb 1479. Apr. 27. 1993. 

" Although depositton testimony was ot5lained from Mr. Bartholomew, his failure 
to remember the words he spoke or the detafls of the conversation, plus his strained 
efforts to fit his recollectk>ns into the current State Department Iheory" makes the 
testimony of Ron Neitzke a t)etter source of evidence conceming this exchange. 

^ Neitzke Dep. at 23-30. 


increasing pressure the Croatian Government was receiving from Iran on the arms pipeline 
issue. Tudjman characterized Iran as knocking at the door, and asked Neitzke what the 
United States wanted Croatia to do. Neitzke. upon instructions from Washington, told 
Tudjman that the United States did not want Croatia to enj^opto a relatkjnship with ]ran." 
The Croatians followed Neitzke's advice a few days I 

Although the Croatians would continue to flirt with greater ties to Iran in 1993. they 
saw no need to ask the United States about its attitude toward the Iranian arms pipeline. 
Charge Neitzke. the^jjMIBBofficial. and other US offlciais had nDade it abundantly clear. 
Iranian arms in the Balkans was an unacceptable poison. As Ambassador Galbraith noted 
in April 1994, "We do have a policy. We^obi^ the embargo and expect other countries to 
obey Security Council resolutions.'^ 

The Question Is Orchestrated 

The evidence that Peter Galbraith was involved in the planning of the Iranian arms 
pipeline, or at the very least was knowledgeable of the details of its origin and operation 
well before the last week in April 1994, is substantial. In his public testimony before the 
House International Relations Committee in May of 1996, Galbraith assured Congressman 
Henry Hyde that the kJea of establishing an Iranian arms pipeline to Bosnia originated with 
the Croatians. and not w«thin the US government.* Moreover. Congressman Ballenger 
questk)ned Galbraith regarding wrfiether Galbraith or "anyone else in our govemment ever 
went to the Croatians. the Bosnians or the Iranians to suggest that they consider 

" Neitzke Dep. at 32-34 



^ Department of State Cable. Zagreb 1721, Apr. 29. 1994. 

" Hearing On US Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Bosnia and Croatia Before 
the House Committft** On International Relations 104th Cong. 54 (May 30, 1996} 

(Testimony of Ambassador Galbraith) (hereinafter 'Galbraith HIRC testinrwny'). 


establishing an arms pipeline from Iran, or to tell them that we would not object if such a 
thing were to happen" Galbraith replied that he was not involved in any such conduct, and 
'to the best of his knowledge' he did not 'inspire' this suggestion.^ In response to 
Congressman Oilman's question about whether Galbraith was ever asked by anyone to 
help implement the Iranian arms pipeline or help facilitate any dealing of Iranian arms to 
Cnsatia or Bosnia, Galbraith answered "no.'^ The facts and testimony elicited during the 
course of the investigation call the truthfulness of these responses into question. 

An understanding of the background, activities and motivations of the principal 
participants in the Croatian events leading to the opening of the Iranian arms pipeline is 
essential to demonstrating Galbraith's knowledge and involvement. 

Getting Acquainted 

Peter W. Galbraith assumed his duties as the United States Ambassador to Croatia 
in July of 1993. Upon Galbraith's arrival, Charge Ron Neitzke became the Deputy Chief 
of Mission. A man with a penchant for action. Ambassador Galbraith brought to his new 
position his lengthy experience as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
Staff. As the President's emissary to a natk>n in what was perhaps one of the most volatile 
parts of the worid, he faced a myriad of challenges and opportunities. Without delay, he 
immersed himself in the politics and issues of the Balkan region with a self-confidence 
amply displayed throughout his public life.^ 

Early in his tenure Galbraith made it dear that he was sympathetic to the plight of 
the Bosnian Muslims, as they battled Serbs arKl Bosnian Croats in the complicated and 
seemingly intractable conflict in Bosnia. Within two months of his arrival in Zagreb, 
Galbraith met with Imam Sevko Omert>asic, a prominent Muslim spiritual leader in Croatia 
arKJ a key contact of anyone hoping to follow the Bosnian Muslim issue from Croatia. He 
was also a linch-pin figure in the establishment and operation of the Iranian arms pipeline. 
In the late summer of 1993. Omeft>ask: was a sufHctently prominent leader in the Croatian 

" Id. at 84-86. 

" Id. at 149. 

^ See Peter W. Galbraith. L ast Stand: A Report from Kurdistan , The New 
Republic. Apr. 29, 1991; Peter W. Galbraith. Diplonriacy Helps Contain the Bosnian 
Conflict. SAIS Review, Volume 15. SumnidSaBKf995. 


Muslim convnunKy to merit a visit from the United States Ambassador. 

The meeting occurred in Omerbasic's office. Gatbraith was accompanied by the 
Embassy Zagreb Public Affairs Officer Susan Hovanec and another individual was present 
as a translator, l-lovanec believes Ouska pjuric, a Foreign Service National worWrtg at the 
Embassy, ananged the meeting.^ The evidence is conflicting, but it is possible that 
Embassy Economic/Commercial Officer Tom Mittnatht accompaniisd Ambassador 
Gaibralth to the meeting, as weli.'^ The meeting was a courtesy cafl which evotved Irito an 
hour long dlsojssion of Muslim suffering and dying.** Galbraitf) expressed his sympathy 
for the Bosnian MusBms arul informed Omerbasic that the US did not fear Islam or believe 
everythir>g it heard about tfie dangers of increasing Islamic fundamentalism.** AltHough 
Omerbasic daims never to have had any further meetings with Galbraith. the credMe 
evidence available as a resuR of this investigation suggesb that Galbraith and Omerbasic 
met a number of times between August 1 993 and April 29, 1 994." 


The significance of this contact and relationship between GaB>raith and Omefba»c 
arises from the rote Omerbasic played as thfikey tadlltator and operator of the Iranian 
arms pipeline^throggh Croatia to Bosnia.* j 

* Select Subcommittee Deposition of Susan Hovanec Aug. 14. 1996. at 31-33 
(hereinafter *Hovanec Oep."). , 

"U. at 31^2, 76-78. 


*" Select Subcommittee Interview of Sevto Omerbasic Aug. 21. 1996. at 2. 

** Select Subcommittae Deposition of Charlotte Stottman. Aug. 10. 1996, aiSS 
(hereinafter 'Stottman Dep."); Memorandum of Inten/lew of Terrl Lee Baker by Julia 
Gaines and Janine Ooherty. 


By the end of 1993, Peter Galbraith was firmly convinced that the Bosnian Muslims 
were desperately in need of weaponry or they would not survive." He had mobilized his 
staff to study and alleviate the Muslim refugee situation in Croatia. Embassy personnel 
were communicating regularly with UN officials and Muslim community leaders, seeking 
information and doing what they could on the problems." Anyone truly interested in the 
Bosnian Muslim situation would have t>een acquainted with the Muslim leaders, including 

Galbraith had no aversion to Islamic fundamentalism. As noted earlier, he told 
Omerbasic as much in their first meeting. Moreover, Galbraith was not as concerned about 
Iran or its influence, as were other Embassy Zagreb officials. As Neitzke has characterized 
the situation, he and Galbraith had different views on Iran.^ Neitzke described his own 
view toward dealings with Iran as 'don't do it, don't do anything with Iran."*" He became 
very much aware of Galbraith's different view when, after the Iranian arms pipeline opened 
up, Galbraith proved reluctant to do anything to end the Croatian-Iran cooperation for fear 
that the arms flow would t>e interrupted. Galbraith dismissed Neitzke's fear of Iranian 
terrorism by proclaiming that it was not in Iran's interest to attack the US.*^ With his mind 
open with respect to Iranian intentions and set upon finding a solution for arming the 
Bosnian Muslims. Galbraith was poised to act at the beginning of 1994 and receptive to 

Shortly after his arrival in Croatia, Ambassador Galbraith developed another 
important relationship for purposes of this investigation, a long and close woridng 
relationship with Croatian Defense Minister Susak.*^ The two men met and dined 
frequently, establishing an alliance of professk>nal convenience and mutual benefit which 

'^ Galbraith HIRC testimony at 21-22. 

" Select Subcommittee Depositkm of Peter W. Galbraith, Aug. 19. 1996. at 77- 
85 (hereinafter "Galbraith Dap.'); Neitzke Dep. at 41-42; Select Subcommittee 
Deposition of Tom Mittnacht. Aug. 14. 1996, at 14-15. 44-52, 69-72; Select 
Subcommittee Deposition of Richard HoKzapple, Aug. 20, 1996. 8-12. 

" Neitzke dep. at 53-59. 

*• Id. at 156-158. 

*' Id. at 113-115. 

'^ Galbraith Dep. at 147-46. 158-9. 


bore, as part of its fruit, the Iranian green light decision. Gojko Susak, although a Croat 
by birth, spent much of his adult life in Canada, amassing a fortune through his pizza 
business. Born in a small town in Bosnia in the hills between Mostar and Split, after his 
return to the Balkans as Croatian Defense Minister he became intensely focused on 
regaining the region of his birth, known as the Krajina." As Defense Minister. Susak set 
about building a military capable of retaking the U nited Nations protected area s in the 
Krajina, Sectors North. South. East and West. 

Susak ran the Croatian military with a hands-on approach, functioning more like a 
commanding general than an American Secretary of Defense." As his primary focus was 
Croatian natkjnalism. he was hostile toward the interests of the Bosnian Muslims and. even 
when playing a critical role in the Iranian arms pipeline, he was not eager to see the 
Bosnian Muslims armed with artillery or missiles.'* Susak was a powerful man in Croatia, 
fluent in English from his Canadian years and a man of action for whom Galbraith 
developed a strong affinity. 

In the fall of 1993, the UN arms embargo posed an obstacle to Susak's efforts to 
augment his army. Embroiled in fighting_with Bosnian Muslims and Serbs. Susak 
ennbarked on a shopping trip for weapons j 

with Galbraith in one of the first of many one-on-one meetir 
next three years.*'! 

Upon Susak's retum, he met 
s the two would have over the 

** Select Subcommittee Deposition of Richard Holbrooke. Sept 27. 1996. at 25- 
31 (hereinafter 'Holbrooke Dep.*). 



^'Neitzke Dep. at 46-52. 


^ _^ As Susak 

declined to make himself available for an inten/iew with the Select Subcommittee, it is 
impossible to conclude with certainty whether or not parts otan Iranian-Croatian amns deal 
were already well along as early as November 1993.j^^yr" 

Besides the arms shopping trip to Iran. Susak attempted to cury favor with US 
officials and learn what he could of US attitudes and policy toward the Balkans. In a 
November 1 993 meeting with Undersecretary of State Peter Tamoff and US Special Envoy 
Charies Redman, he learned that it was very important to these US officials that Croatia 
cooperate in the process of getting humanitarian aid to the Bosnians* At that time and 
on throughout 1994, the humanitarian aid flow to Bosnia consisted primarily of convoys, 
organized by Muslim humanitarian organizations that later played a significant role in the 
Iranian arms pipeline to Bosnia. 

Ambassador Galbraith was irritated by the fact that his frjend Susak had not been 
viewed as important eiKHigh to warrant a meeting with Woolseyi 

* CIA Cable. State 343310. Nov."l 1 . 1993. 


__^ This did fwt deter Galbralth from his efforts to 

cultivate an exclusive relationship with Susak. As previously mentioned, the two began 
working dosely together, and Galbraith would frequently meet with Susak through 1995, 
often without reporting such meetings to Washington.** Both men began to reaHze that 
they could achieve important goals working in tanderrror by using each oth^ 

As 1993 canrte to an er>d, Susak was still mulling over the possible arms deal with 
Iran, although not excited about the prospects of sharing firepower with the Muslims with 
whom the Croatians were stOI at war. The US was discouraging his military aspiratnns and 
apparently had little interest in taking Croatia's side In the ongoing Balkan dispute. 
Moreover, If he decided to go forward with an amis deal with Iran, he could anticipate 
opposition from many within the Croatian government, who greatly feared the spread of 
Iranian Influence In the area, as wed as fierce objections from the US about Iranian 
flirtations." Susak's friendship and working relationship witii Galbraith offered a solution 
to his problems. 

The Bosnian Muslims were more than ready to be rescued, armed or ottwnwise 
assisted in a war they were dearty not winning. The US Ambassador to Bosnia in 1993 
and 1994. Victor Jackovich. was constantiy importuned by both Bosnian oftteials and 
dtizens as to the need for weapons or a RflHig of the arms embargo." The anns embargo 
was the most important issue for the Bosnian government and Bosnian ofRdals discussed 
its Wling with .Ambassador Jackovich. Redman, congress tonal delegations and any US 
offictai who woukj Hsten." 

In late 1993 or the early months of 1994 Ambassador Jackovfch received a request 
that was different from the generalized Importuning mentioned earlier. Bosnian Prime 
Minister Siajdzic approached Jackovk:h and toM him that Bosnian Vtoe PreskJent Ejup 
Gante. during a trip to MusSm countries, was Wbnned by the Libyan Foreign Minister ttiat 

**Ne(tzkeDep. at 50-52. 

" See pages 75-60. 

" Select Sut>oommitt»e Deposilton of Vtetor Jackovteh. Aug. 20. 1996. at 6-12, 
48-53 (hereinaAer 'JadaMOi Dep."). 



Libya would be willing to send arms to Bosnia if the US was agreeable. Jackovic made no 
comment on the proposal, Injt agreed to pass it on to Washington. Jackovich reported by 
cable to the European Bureau of the Department of State. He never received a response 
from the Department of State on the Libyan arms proposal, and does not recall any follow- 
up with Bosnian officials. ^ 

Thus, it was no surprise that after Jackovich failed to respond favorably to the 
Libyan arms deal, the Iranian arms pipeline proposal was never suggested or broached 
with him.** In fact, altfK)ugh he knew that the Iranian and Bosnian government were having 
continuous contact throughout March and April of 1994. Jackovich was not surprised that 
the Bosnians did not discuss these contacts with him, in light of the US attitude toward 
Iran.*" Cleariy, although sympathetic to the Bosnian Muslim concerns, the US Ambassador 
to Bosnia was not a good prospect for assisting the Iranians in securing their arms dealing 
franchise in the Balkans. The prospects were better in Zagreb. 

Without Our Fingerprints 

On the eve of the Clinton Administration's Iranian green light decision in late April 
1994, Ambassador Galbraith assured the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for 
European and Canadian Affairs Sandy Vershbow that he could handle giving the US 
gukjance to the Croatians on the Iranian arms issue "without our fingerprints."^ Although 
this remarit is discussed in detail later in this report in the context of explaining the manner 
in which the US conveyed the Iranian green light, it was a telling remark regarding 
Galbraith's state of mind in the Spring of 1994 and the extent to whk:h he was familiar with 
the planned Iranian arms pipeline. 

Try as he might as the Iranian arms pipeline was established in the spring of 1994, 
Ambassador Galbraith was unable to keep his own proverbial fingerprint from appearing 
on the evidence. A mere comparison of how the Iranian pipeline was operated with 

. " Id. at 54-57. 

* Id. at 29-36. 

* Id. at 16-20. 

*' Select Subcommittee Deposition of Alexander Vershbow, Aug. 8, 1996, at 48- 
56 (hereinafter "Vershbow Dep.*): Notes of Alexander Vershbow (hereinafter "Vershbow 


Ambassador Galbraith's words and deeds in the winter and spring of 1994 reveals starkly 
his knowledge and role. 

In late F ebmary or eariy March of 1994. Ambassador Galbraith approache«i^H 
^^■■■■^to discus s a proposal he. was exploring to arm the Bosnian Muslims. 
Galbraith requested that the^WWM^jUbegin a covert action proposal. The proposal, 
as described by Galbraith /would involve the US communicating to the Croatians that it 
would look the other way if the Croatians would allow amns for the Bosnian Muslims to 
transit Croatian tenitory on whatever terms could be worked out between the Cnjatians 
and the other parties. Galbraith further suggested that the Iranians could be the supplier 
of the arms. He further proposed that the Turks be used as "cut-outs" in the plan. The 
^appalled at the klea. replied that the plan was not a good idea as it would 
give Iran a firmer foothold in the Balkans, would violate US law under the UN arms 
embargo regime, would be unsustainable in an operational sense (UNPROFOR or NATO 
would notice or the Iranians would leak knowledge of its existence) and it would result in 
the Serbs viewing the US as a co-belligerent in the war." " 

As additional downsides to Galbraith's plan, the^f^flffBlQidentified the risk 
of encouraging Croatian military aspirattons. the lack of deniability given the need to let 
ships or planes sneak by and the substantial risk to intelligence "&3^ties|posed^such 
an "Iran-Contra" type plan without clear pdrcy-level gukJance. Th^^^B^B^Hended 
his remartcs by informing the Ambassador that such a proposal would have to come down^ 
from theiiSP or the White House, and he would not initiate such an action proposal r^^ 

Despite thefipHHIfli^Bbleak assessment of the wisdom or prospects for his 
Iranian 'IggK the other waV" plan. Galbraith appeared undeter^ed in his enthusiasm. He 
told theSMBilMM^at he might raise the plan with National Security Advisor 
Anthony Lake. Th ^^^M^1 ^>elieved that he had suffi piec«y dis couraged Galbraith 
such that his Iranian plan wouW "die a deserved death."tifafip^^ 

Galbraitti thought differently. He was no stranger to creative thinking about actions 
to arm the Bosnian Musfims. In November of 1992. while stifl a Senate Foreign Relations 


Committee staffer, he accompanied Senator Daniel Moynihan to Bosnia. In a meeting with 
the UN Commander, Genera! Morilion. he aslced the General what he thought atx)ut the 
US arming the Bosnian Muslims. Morilion replied, "Just give me five days to get the heli 
out of here ^d you can do what you wani'^ I n December 1993, shortly_ aftef!!MBMMi 
MniH^H^Ibraith had approached|JMMBBHMHBW^6Bnd asked him 
whetheif^ g^ip as conducting a covert action to arm the Bosnian Muslims. He openly 
advocatedlha* such an action would t>e a good thing, but cautioned that a friendly Muslim 
country such as Saudi Arabia should be the p^ jvider of the wea pons to alleviat6 -,'the 
political blowback.'tSflHHHSHBHBchecked with the^HHBPj^nd 
learned that no such plan was in effect, and there was no Presidential finding authonzir; 
such a program." Galbraith expressed further interest in proposing such a plan.j^ 

As noted, by the spring of 1994, the Iranians figured prominently in hit new 
proposal. This was no accident. Galbraith's proposal was a virtual blueprint for the Iranian 
arms pipeline that was put into effect by Susak, Omerbasic and Hasan Cengic in May 
1994. This telltale similarity between the Galbraith plan and the Iranian pipeline is not the 
only evidence that he had advance knowledge of the Iranian-Croatian plan. In another of 
his frequent telephone conversations with Alexander Vershbow during the last week of 
April 1994, Galbraith told Vershtxsw details about the Iranian arms flights, such as the fact 
that they would arrive in unmarked 747 aircraft and the fact that the Croatians and the 
Muslims would split the arms, fifty-fifty, which he could not have known had he not had 
knowledge of the plan before Presklent Tudjman's question." 

Vy/hether Galbraith authored the arms pipeline plan and brought the Croatians and 
Iranians to agreement, or whether the plan was designed by the Croatians and Iranians, 
who then told Galbraith of the details and secured his help, no one may ever be able to 
determine. Susak refused to make himself available for an interview with the Select 
Subcommittee staff during its investigative visit to Zagreb. And although Omert)asic 
consented to a brief meeting during that Zagreb trip, his answers to the staffs questk>ns 

*^ John Pomfret and David B. Ottaway, US Envoy's Batkan Role Criticized on 
Capitol Hill . Washington Post, May 21 , 1996 at A1 2. 

' Vershbow Dep. at 11-17; Vershbow Notes. 


were denronstrably false on most of the issues critical to the investigation, and thus of little 
help. Nevertheless. Galbraith's own words reveal his central importance to the evolution 
of the pipeline. 

shared this information writh Ambassador Galbraith, who admitted that he 
was one of the US officials who met with Omerbasic, but that the meeting was in a mosque 
at a public religious event and that there was no discussion with Omerbasic on the subject 
of arming the Bosnian Musl yns. Galbraith iden^ ed the other 'official" mentioned in the 
report as Tom Mittnacht.'° ^J^BBBM^^Byhared with Galbraith in th9 r;^xt few 
weeks the intelligence infonnation regarding Omerbasic's activities.^ 

^LThe import 

of this distancing was not lost on Omert>asic, who was still angry at US officials two years 
later when then Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Finn of the Embassy Zagreb paid him a 
courtesy call. Omerbasic pointedly observed to Finn that no US Embassy official had paki 
him a visit since spring of 1994.^^ This distancing activity is strongly indicative of a 
consciousness on Galbraith's part that being linked to Omerbasic, in light of the other 
evkJence of his advance krK>vtlledge of or possible participatktn in the planning of the 

Galbraith Dep. at 268 
ug. 9. 1996, at 23-24 

'^ S ejggt Sq^ mmittee Degosition ol 

" Select Subcommittee Interview of Patrick Finn, August 18, 1996; 
Memorandum of Finn Interview by Julia Gaines and Janine Ooherty. 


Iranian arms pipeline, would contradict his denials of any role in encouraging the Croatians 
and Iranians to establish the pipeline or in orchestrating the posing of the question to the 
US government In sworn testimony twfore a congressional committee, he has attempted 
to minimize his contacts with Omert>asic to a single very fleeting, public meeting." 
Testimony elicited and evidence obtained in the Select Subcommittee's investigation has 
revealed that Galbraith had other meetings with Omerbasic, some of them in the US 
Embassy, and that the buslra^ card of Omertjasic was in the Ambassador's Roiodex as 
late as August 199€'l^^p 

The evidence is also dear that during the spring of 1994. as Galbraith sho pped his 
Iraniarvlicok the other way* solution to the crisis of the Bosnian Muslims with the^^BP 
ifliH^Omert>asic and Susak were working with the Iranians to make that sokrtion a 
reality. The Washington Accords, resulting in the MusTimOoat Federation, by hatting the 
fighting betweer i^rcats jnd Bosnian Muslims, softened Sus ak's resistance to the Iranian 
arms proposal. ^^^''tNSHMHHHHMMMHHi 

with the wishes of the US, the Croatians co«j)d 4^ give the Iranians any guarantees without 
assuring that the US wouM not objecL'^Hf^' 
The key to getting the favorable US response necessary for the Iranians, Croatians 
and Bosnians to feel secure in cementing this "win-win-win° arrar^gement was Ambassador 

» Maaring On Rnsnifl R«fcw» tha Mmifto Pafmanont Ridtttt nnmmitt#m nn 

intAHigAnra , 104th Cong. 30 (May 30. 1996} (Testimony of Peter Galbraith} (hereinafter 
-GalbraRh HPSO testimon/). 

^* Select Subcommmee Doc., Bate Stamp #000001 (Aug. 21. 1996). 




Galbraith. In light of his sympathy for the Bosnian Muslims, his open-minded view towards 
Iran, his friendship and close working relationship with Susak. his desire to make the 
Federation work and his natural tendency toward action. Galbraith was willing to 
orchestrate a dipkjmatic exchange which wouW meet the needs of all parties. Confident 
in his ability to sway the opinions of his superiors, he set to work to assure that ttie 
Croatian government asked the right ques tton. a nd re ceived the answer it needed."/<^ 

^BSi^^^^^a^n April 29 that Peter G^raith recited ttie worts which gave the" 
Iranians arxj Croatians the green ''flWj^j^JW''''^ 

The Question is Posed 

By mkl-April 1994. Croatian Defiense Minister Susak. had apparently prevailed upon 
President Tudjman to accept weapons from Iran and allow the Iranian amis pipeline to 
Bosnia to pass through Croatia. In Bght of virtiat he knew of the mutual antipathy between 
Iran and the US. as well as past reactkjns by Oie US to arms embargo vWatkjns, Tudjman 
proceeded cautknjsly to seek the US position with regard to such a move. Whether Susak 
discussed with Tudjman the efforts and willingness of Ambassador Galbraith to arrange 
for a positive US response on the Iranian amis pipeline is a matter of mere speculation, 
given the rBfusal of PresWent Tudjman and Susak to nrake themselves available to the 
Select Sutx»mmlttee for inten/lews. Nevertheless, despite a division within his own 
government regarding the wisdom of woriong with Iran, Presklent Tudjman decided to pose 
the questkxi. How that questksn was asked, how the US dev^oped a response, and how 
Ambassador Galbraith conveyed that response, as well as the consequences and the 
confusion that flowed from the dedston are discussed in the pages that follow. 

The Croatians Test the Waters 

In n»d-ApriI of 1 994. the Croatian ofltetote began again to exphJTB whe«har or not the 

US Government wouW toleratB or approve the shipment of Iranian arms to Croatia and 

snia. On Aprt 1 8. 1994. duri ng a meeting with Special Envoy Charles Redman. 

^imBH|||dJHBI0il9|nfonned Redman that the gpsnjaqs ha d come to the 

5oatian Government earlier that day. asking for weapons.^Jjgjpated that Croatia 

** Sea^ages 92-111 


remained 'oriented toward peace,' and that Croatia hoped for US support for that position. 
To the USJ^utv Chief of Mission (DCM) Ronald Neitzke, who was in attendance at the 
meeting. Spl^^remarks evidenced that the Croatians had little appetite for 
reestablishing ^pipeline for anns to Bosnia. He also formed the impression that the 
Croatians might soon seek more specific guidance from the US on this issue. On Aprij, 
1994, Neitzke reported on this conversation to the Department of State by cable.*' ^ 

April l£^^ 

On April 20, 1994, the f^B BJ^B^^BB^reported to his headquarters that, in 
the wake of Redman's April 18. 1994 visit, the qtle^ion of Croatian circumvention of the 
arms embargo had resurfaced. He recounted Ambassador Galbraith's conversations with 
him in March 1994 about developing a covert action to let the Croats know the US would 
look the other way if arms were to transit their territory, stressing that, although he believed 
Galbraith's plan had "died a deserved death," that belief was apparently premature. He 
reported that he had been informed by Neitzke that Ambassadors Redman and Galbraith 
were among those discussing "doing an Afghanistan' i arm, the Muslims. 
Although uncertain about the seriousness of such talk, th^MpBfjpii^'eported it out 
of an abundance of caution to keep headquarters informedT 

f^ The following jjg y, April 21, 1994, thejjflUCBHHS^as approached by a 
^BUjMJMWWIynd was asked what the US position was with respect to the arms 
embargo and the franshipment of arms through Croatia. The contact expressed his 
opinton that allowing such transshipments would be a b gd^idea, posat> ly leading to 
renewed fighting between Bosnian Muslims a^ Croats. Thj^ plMM MJiy urther offered 
to help interdict such arms shipments if the ^BM BM MBIfc ould provideinformation on 

Thq2I^BiBMfl|y^ware of the US position to date and having watched President 
Clinton declare publicly ($n television the previous evening that the US honored the arms 
emtiargo, responde <jJp the^uestig p by stating that compliance with the arms embargo 
was US policy. The^^flHflH^BnforrriedNei^ke^whowas Charge in the absence of 
Ambassador Galbraith, ofttie^u^yfrom thefifc— BBjB? Neitzke sent the Department 
of State a message ontti is development in which he referfiS to a refa testPOQ^e rsation that 
fH^BBim^H^had with Redman on April 18. He opined thaj^ippiad perhaps 
^een too subtle^in fiisapproach with Redman, and may have wanted to ask the US more 
formally to stand with Croatia in rejecting -^e Bosnian approaches. The Croatians. in his 

*' Department of State Cable, Zagreb 1567, Apr. 19, 1994. 


view, clearly intended to stonewall the Bosnians until they received formal clarification of 
United States support for their inclination to refuse. The cable also informed the 
Department of State that Iran still loomed raQst^omlnently as the likely source of arms." 
Neitzke sought guidance on the issuey^'^>7^ 

Croatian govemment officials continued to test the waters on the Iranian pipeline 
issue. On April 22. 1994. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Herrick, the Defense Attache to the 
US Embassy Zagreb, met with Croatian Defense Minister Susak regarding a number of 
military issues. The meeting was one in a reflular series of meetings that the two held to 
discuss matters of mutual military interest. 


Department of State Cable. Zagreb 1597. Apr, 21, 1994. 


On his return to the Embassy, Herrick reported this conversation to Neitzke. Neitzke 
told him to report the discussion back to Washington, which Herrick promptly did by cable 
on Monday. April 25. 1994.** Herrick showed the cable to Ambassador Galbraith upon the 
tatter's return to Zagreb on April 25 or 26. 

Shortly thereafter. Galbraith, Neitzke, Herrick and thepJBMMpjynet to discuss 
the various Croatian approaches. Galbraith questioned Herrick as to Wiy he responded 
to Susak as he had. Herrick replied that his response was the US ofTicially stated policy. 
The Ambassador asked Herrick to set up a meeting between the Ambassador and Susak 
at which time the same question coul dj^e posed. Iru jther words, he told Herrick to get 
Susak to ask tiim the question. The^BBH^HHWexpressed his opinion during the 
meeting that anything having to do with Iran wasTTraught with danger and^hould be 
avoided. He urged the Ambassador not to support the Croatian proposal.|" 

On April 27, 1994, Neitzke, Special Envoy Redman and Croatian Foreign Minister 
Cranio met in Zagreb to discuss the WashingtonAccprds and Federation issues. When 
the discussion on these subjects ended,^H^0^appealed to Neitzke for help in 
withstanding Iranian pressure to allow the transshipment of Iranian arms to the Bosnian 
Muslims. Neitzke was also informed that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman would ask 
Galbraith about the US position on this issue at a meeting the following moming^pQl 28. 
1994. Neitzke remembers Redman being present during this conversation Witt^jgfg^nd 
believes that he shoukl have heard what was sakJ.*^ Nonetheless, Redman has stated in 
swom testimony that he was unaware of the Croatian request regarding the transshipment 
of Iranian anms until his return to Zagreb on April 29. 1994." On hi&re^ to the Embassy. 
Neitzke informed Ambassador Galbraith of his conversation wiUjfl^B Galbraith seemed 

*" Department of Defense Cable 
* Herrick Dep. at 12-24 
" Neitzke Dep. at 60-66. 

Apr. 25. 1994 

Apr. 28. 19947 

** Select Subcommittee Depositk>n of Charies Redman. August 27, 1996. at 29- 
37 (hereinafter 'Redman Dep.'). 


unaware that the question was to be posed to him the next morning, and he acted quickly 
to contact Washington for instructions. Although Galb^aitbwanted a "nonobjection" 
instnjction. Neitzke made it clear that he did not agree^J^gw^ 

_Atjhe dose of business on April 27. 1994, Ambassador Galbraith asked his 
~ to meet with him in the conference room. During that meeting, Galbraith 
described a recent meeting with Susak, in which Susak had made the case in favor of the 
Uni tgd States' suppor ting th ^jgansshipmentj^ f Iranian arms through Croatia. Galbraith told 
the^lHHHHP^that if^Bm^BJ^pHshould raise the arms transshipment issue 
again, the US position on the arms embargo ^ not firm." ^ ce that statement was not 
consistent with publicly stated US policy, th^^lBBI^^asked Galbraith if he had 
received instnjctions to that effect. The Ambassador responded that the matter was under 
review and that 'Washington doesn't know what policy i yxxants anyway." Without some 
sort of confirmation of a policy£hi^r reconsideratk}n, th^^HBB^Mcleclined, so the 
Ambassador told him to d^^^^^o ask the question of the Ambassador instead.*" 

The Home Office Fails to Distinguish Itself 

As this preliminary sounding out of the US policy was underway in Croatia, 
Ambassador Galbraith was actively lobbying the Department of State for a response that 
would signal to the Croatians that the United States had no objection to the proposed 
Iranian arms pipeline. According to contemporaneous notes taken by Alexander "Sandy" 
Vershbow, then serving as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European 
and Canadian Affairs, Ambassador Galbraith spoke with him by telephone at the 
Department of State on either April 25 or April 26 to argue his position. Galbraith told 
Vershtx}w that President Tudjman of Croatia would t>e requesting the United States view 
on such shipments at an upcoming meeting, that it was an important matter and thathe 
needed instoictions from senior levels in Washington. Galbraith explained that theHpV 
IBBpl^and Defense Attache Herrick had told Croatian officials that US policy was to 
uphold the UN Security Coundl resolutions and to oppose their violation. Ambassador 
Galbraith stated that he needed dear gukjance on the Presklent's policy and wanted 
instructions vetted at a high level, such as by the Acting Secretary of State m^ National 
Security Advisor Anthony Lake. He wanted those instructions by cable ji^' 

•• Neitzke Dep. at 60-66. 
''^■■■■IViHHMApril 28. 1994, 
*^ Vershbow Dep. at 11-17; Vershbow Notes. 


In that same telephone conversation, Ambassador Galbraith discussed what he 
believed to be the pros and cons of the different responses available to the question 
anticipated from President Tudjman. He warned that UNPROFOR would most likely detect 
the arms shipment traffic. He also betrayed a strikingly detailed and prophetic knowledge 
of the details of the Iranian/Croatian plan, remarking that the arms would arrive in 
unmarked 747 airplanes, the Croatians would take half of the arms for themselves and the 
other half would go on to the Bosnians." Galbraith characterized the United States' 
response he advocated as a "wink and nod."" He was insistent that he must have 
Departmental guidance prior to his scheduled meeting with President Tudjman on the 
nfK>ming of April 28. 

Vershl)ow, accepting this deadline, began to regard the issue as "urgent."" 
Acconjingly, immediately after this conversation with Galbraith, Vershbow bro":;^ the 
issue to the decision makers on the Seventh Floor" of the Department, in particular 
Undersecretary for Political Affairs Peter Tamoff. Mr. Tamoff was the Senior Department 
official responsible for policy with respect to Bosnia. Tamoff was also the Acting Secretary 
of State, as Secretary Christopher was traveling in the Middle East and Deputy Secretary 
Strobe Tallxjtt was travelir>g with President Clinton's entourage to the funeral of former 
President Richard Nixon in California. On April 27, 1994 Vershbov/s notes indicate that 
he attended a meeting on Bosnian-related issues with Tamoff. During the course of that 
meeting, Vershbow received a message from Tom Donilon, the Chief of Staff to the 
Secretary of State advising him not to let too much time elapse before responding to 
PreskJent Tudjnr«in and that there should be "no funny business."" Vershbow recollects 
no further discusskan of the Tudjman question during the April 27 meeting. 

At the time of the meeting, Donilon was traveling with Secretary Christopher in the 
Middle East On the evening of President Richard Nixon's funeral, April 27, 1994, Mr. 
Donilon was at the Semiramis Hotel in Cairo, Egypt. He had several telephone 
conversatk>ns with tamoff that night, serving as Secretary Christopher's "link" back to the 
State Department Although Donik>n has no present recollection of the "no funny business' 

"^ As it turns out. once the pipeline was operational the Croatians' portion usually 
turned out to be about one-third. 

•* Vershbow Dep. at 1 1-17; Vershbow Notes. 

•* Vershbow Dep. at 19. 

*^ Versht>ow Dep. at 26-30; Vershbow Notes. 


remark, he does not question the accuracy of Vershbow's notes indicating that he made 
It.** Tamoff advised Donilon that the issue raised by Ambassador Galbraith was under 
consideration, and that there were differing opinions in Washington as to what the 
response should be. Tamoff also indicated that he was in contact with Taltx)tt, who was 
with the President on Air Force One. Donilon informed Secretary Christopher that the 
issue was being discussed back in the United States, and Secretary Christopher exhibited 
no memorable response beyond acknowledgment of the information.*' - 

Later in the day on April 27, as the discussions continued in Washington, Galbraith 
called Vershbow, informing him that the meeting with President Tudjman the next morning 
would t^egin at 1 1 :30 a.m. Galbraith said something atxsut having or having had lunch wKh 
Defense Minister Susak, and Vershfc>ow surmised that Galbraith may have learned of 
President Tudjman's planned question during such a lunch. Galbraith also reported in the 
conversatksn that he had heard from the Croatians that Croatian Prime Minister Valentic 
was scheduled to depart for Iran on April 29. ^6iP— — — ^p B^— PMJ 

WB He expressed 

concern to Vershbow that using the "no instructions" policy may not hpv^he right effect, 
and that the Croatians might back off from the arms pipeline idea.^S^^^^™^ 

Besides speaking with Vershbow, Galbraith made other efforts to advocate his 
position. He placed a telephone call directly to Undersecretary Tamoff, which was not 
returned.** He also composed and transmitted a cable to the attention of Secretary 
Christopher on April 27.'°* 

In this April 27 cable. Ambassador Galbraith recommended that President Tudjman 
be given a "non-responsive" answer that indirectly signaled that the United States wouldn't 
object to the arms shipments. While acknowledging that the major supplier of arms would 
be Iran, he argued that a non-response would be better than *no instructions.* He argued 


Select Subcommittee Depositk>n of Thomas Donilon, Sep. 12, 1996, at 12-16. 

•^ Id. at 12-14. 

** Vershbow Dep. at 30-33; Vershbow Notes. 

•* Select Subcommittee Depositk>n of Peter Tamoff. Sep. 13, 1996, at 29 
(hereinafter "Tamoff Dep."). 

'°° Department of State Cable, Zagreb 1683, Apr. 27, 1994. 


forcefully that 'if we do not object to Croatia's role as a conduit, it is better to signal that 
now." He repeated his concerns that the Valentic visit to Iran would be hindered, as he 
believed that the only thing the Iranians wished to discuss with Valentic were the 
arrangements for the transhipnnents of arms. Ironically, he suggested that he should also 
'caution' the Croatians on developing too close of a relationship with lran.'°^ 

Ambassador Galbraith also discussed in this cable his understanding of Croatian 
govemment views on the Iranian arms issue. He judged that Croatia wanted to act with 
US approval, and it also wanted to be sure that the US would not act or speak against 
Croatia if it undertook the role of arms conduit. He acknowledged the differences of 
opinion within the Croatian government.] 

He also argued that stopping the arms pipeline ns''ci 

repeating a mistake of the' past. He specifically argued that the US demarche to Croatia 

in September 1992 over Iranian arms transhipment had led to the outbreak of war between ^_S _ 

Bosnians and Croats that fall. His cable once again stressed the urgency of his request. 'j2fe!X/ "" 

On the morning of April 28. 1994, Vershbow called Ambassador Galbraith on an 
open (that is, non-secure) phone line to tell him to convey to President Tudjman in their 
meeting that he (Galbraith) "really had no instructions.""^ Galbraith was left with the 
understanding that the issue was still being reviewed and that a decision had not yet been 
made. He continued to press his arguments with Vershbow. again advocating a 
'nonresponsive response" that would give President Tudjman a go ahead to cooperate 
with Iran. Galbraith ventured a political argument for his position, opining that those in 
Congress who favored lifting the arms embargo would be pleased with his proposed 
course of action, since it would help the Bosnians. Vershbow's notes also reflect that 
Ambassador Galbraith said such members of Congress would 'be less hot on the issue.""^ 
Vershbow, during this telephone conversation or another one later that day. indicated his 
belief that 'no instructions' would have the same effect as a non-responsive response. 
Galbraith argued once again Susak's view that if the Croatians did not cooperate with the 
pipeline, the Bosnian Muslims wouM lose their commitment to the Federatfon. He repeated 



'" Vershbow Dep. at 33-36. 

"* Vershbow Dep. at 41-47; Vershbow Notes. 


that cutting off arms flows in 1993 had led to war.^"' 

In his telephone conversation with Vershbow. Galbraith expressed his impatience 
that Washington had not yet made a decision. He was adamant that he did not want to 
attend a meeting with Tudjman without guidance. Galbraith stated to Vershbow that the 
United States could handle the matter and provide guidance to the Croatians "without our 
fingerprints" and that he could say what he wanted to say "less directly."'" 

Later on April 28, 1994 Galbraith attended the much-anticipated meeting with 
President Tudjman in Zagreb. At the meeting. Galbraith stuck to the guidance he had. 
such as it was. He informed Tudjman that the United States honors the arms embargo. 
He further stated that, although his eml)assy had been aware that the amns issue might be 
raised and he had sought his instructions from Washington, he had not yet received any. 
in sum. he told President Tudjman he could not give a direct reply to the question."" 

President Tudjman advised that he sought US guidance because the Croatian 
government wanted to act in accordance with US policy, especially in light of the 
Washington Accords. He was well aware of the West's attitude toward Iran, but described 
the request as a test of Croatia's good will toward Bosnia. '°* 

Following this meeting with President Tudjman, Ambassador Galbraith urgently 
cabled the Department of State, reporting his conversations and once again advocating 
a nxxJification of US policy. He reminded Washington of his understanding of US policy 
(*We have a policy. We obey the embargo and expect other countries to obey Security 
Council resolutions.') and urged that it be modified to signal to the Croatians that we would 
not object if they were to serve as the arms conduit to the Muslims. In his desperation, the 
Ambassador stressed that the Croatians had repeatedly signaled Tudjman's intent to ask 
the question and the State Department had known so for over a week."* 

While Galbraith agonized over his feilure to receive instnjctions, Vershbow. Tamoff 

'" Vershbow Dep. at 41-47. 

^<* Vershbow Dep. at 48-56; Vershbow Notes. 

"" Department of State Cable. Zagreb 1721. Apr. 29. 1994. 




and other officials in Washington had not yet reached a decision. Vershbow testified that 
he and Tamoff considered only two options available for Galbraith's response: 1 ) a clear 
statement that the United States abides by the arms embargo and expects others to do so, 
or 2) an indication that the US neither endorses nor approves by continuing to say "no 
instructions.' Although they were concerned that Iran would be the principal arms supplier, 
they felt that having a 'neutral stance' was justifted in that it opened the arms flow."" 
There was no consideration of an option that might have closed the door on Iranian arms, 
but left it open regarding nmre palatable and less dangerous sources. 

During these discussions. Vershbow did not share with Tamoff all of the information 
he learned from Galbraith. He neglected to mention that Galbraith had advance 
knowledge of the Iranian intent to ship the arms in unmarked 747 aircraft. He also did not 
convey that the Croatians would be keeping half of the weapons for themselves."^ 

In the midst of this process. Special Envoy Charies Redman telephoned Vershbow 
fronri Bosnia. Vershbow's contemporaneous notes indicate that Redman told him that he 
(Redman), at the request of President Tudjman, was on his way to Croatia to discuss arms, 
Iran arxl other subjects. Redman added that, if he had instructbns, he would use them."' 
In dosed and public testimony. Redman denied that he knew anything about the Tudjman 
question regarding the Iranian arms issue prior to his anival in Zagreb on April 29, 1994."' 
Vershbow's contemporaneous notes cast doubt on the truthfulness of those jjfinials. 
Versh bow wa s also tottLJQ that April 28 telephone conversation vrith Redman that fiJB— 

stated that pending contracts with Iran were being held up by 

'Bosnia-Iran connjy^ce.' Vershbow recalled no greater detail at>out that portion of the 
conversation."* / 

The Washington Decision 

As Redman traveled to Zagreb, offlctats in Washington and en route from the Nixon 
funeral apparently arrived at a decisk>n on how to respond to the Tudjman question. 

^^ Vershbow Dep. at 36-40. 

"' Tarrwff Oep. at 39. <. 

"' Vershbow Dep. at 70-72; Vershbow Notes. 

"* Redman Dep. at 39-42. 

^^* Vershbow Dep. at 70-72; Vershbow Notes. 


Despite the fact that the Administration has characterized the "no instructions" decision as 
a 'brilliant* stroke of diplomacy."* the least "lousy" of all available options and a judgment 
call which ted to the Dayton Peace Accords,"* the Select Subcommittee's investigation 
has revealed that those consulted in the decision making process have displayed a curious 
tendency to minimize their own involvement in the decision, while readily extolling its 
virtues. To the extent facts and circumstances concerning the decision's genesis have 
been made available, they can be summarized as follows. 

As the Acting Secretary of State, ^eter Tamoff made efforts to keep in touch with 
Chief of Staff Donilon in Secretary Christopher's party in the Middle East. In addition to 
talking to Donilon, he also had at least one discussion with Secretary Christopher himself 
on the issue. During that discussnn, Tamoff and Christopher spoke about three options 
which Mr. Tamoff believed were tjeing contemplated on Air Force One by the Presidential 
advisors: responding with no objection, objecting, on responding with "no instructions.' 
Tamoff informed Secretary Christopher of a consensus developing among those involved 
in the process toward "no instructions," and the Secretary seemed comfortable with that 
development.'" In addition to Secretary Christopher, Tamoff discussed the issue with 
Alexander Vershbow, Tom Donilon and Sandy Berger, the President's Deputy National 
Security Advisor.'" 

Berger told Tamoff that the President had made the decision that Ambassador 
Galbraith was to have no instructions."* Tamoff called Tom Donilon to inform him of the 
President's decision, and Donilon, in turn, informed Secretary Christopher, who 
acknowledged Donilon's message and expressed no objection to K.'^ Tamoff has no 

"' Select Subcommittee Deposition of Strobe Talbott, September 5, 1996, at 45 
(hereinafter Talbott Dep.'). 

"* Hearing On US Actions Regarding Iranian Arms Shipments Into Bosnia 
Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence , 104th Cong. 48 (May 23, 1996) 
(Testimony of Richard Holbrooke). 

"_^ Tamoff Dep. at 8. 

"• Tamoff Dep. at 8-10. 

"• Tamoff Dep. at 5. 

'* Tamoff Dep. at 6-9. 


recollection of telling Vershlx)w of the President's decision.'" Moreover. Tamoff does not 
recall how the "no instructions" guidance was conveyed to Galbraith.'" Vershbow recalls, 
however, that between April 28 and April 30 he gave Galbraith the "no instmctions' position 
three times, and believes that Tamoff probably directed him to make these calls/'' 

The decision was purportedly taken to President Clinton while he was aboard Air 
Force One retuming from the Nixon funeral in California. Deputy Secretary Talbott and 
National Security Advisor Lake, who were accompanying the President, first discussed the 
options privately. Talbott also recalls t>eing in touch with Tamoff by telephone from the 
plane. It is his recollection that he and Lake concluded that the 'no instmctions' response 
was the best option and should be the recommendation to the President. Talbott did not 
speak with the President about this matter. Lake then went to the President's 
compartment to discuss the ntatter. He retumed shortly and advised Talbott that the 
Presklent approved the 'no instructions" option.'^* 

President Clinton has not pubiidy acknowledged or claimed that he personally made 
the decision to issue the 'no instructions' guidance to Ambassador Galbraith. In a letter 
dated May 15, 1996 to Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, the President characterized 
the decision by saying 'we chose not to take a position with respect to Croatia's pemriitting 
arms shipments to Bosnia across its territory. I believe that my Administration made the 
correct decisfon at the time . . ."'* The Select Subcommittee's ability to determine 
precisely what was presented to the President during his discussion with Lake (and his 
responses to such information) has been hindered by the refusal of the White House 
Counsel to permit Lake to respond to questions regarding his conversations with the 
PreskJent. as well as. the refusal of White House counsel to perniit Lake's testimony to be 
taken under oath. 

The evkJence available with respect to the decision making process reveals that the 
Presklent was almost certainly not provkjed with relevant, highly sensitive, and 

'** Tamoff Dep. at 5. . 

'^ Tamoff Dep. at 32. 

"* Vershbow Dep. at 28-30. 

'^Talbott Dep. at 31. 

'" Letter from President ainton to Senator Jesse Helms (May 15. 1996) 
(emphasis added). 


controversial information important to the decision he was being asked to make. The 
details of the arms delivery plans known to Ambassador Galbraith and conveyed to 
Vershbow were not passed on to Tamoff, and consequently not to Lake, Berger or the 
President. Tamoff. Talbott, Berger and Lake were unaware, at that time, of the 
discussions Galbraith had prior to April 1994 regarding his proposed plan to signal the 
Croatians that the United States would look the other way if it acted as an arms conduit, 
or that Galbraith had suggested that the Iranians might be used as a source of the 
smuggled arms.'* 

Determining precisely what information and arguments were considered in the 
decision-making process has, of necessity, been dependent upon the recollections of the 
US officials involved, many of whom were reluctant or outright refused to share the details 
of the statements by and between officials. Moreover, no written position papers, decision 
memoranda or other written analysis were prepared for the President or, his advisors. 
Nonetheless, a few conclusk}ns about the discussk>ns are dear. Tamoff has testified that 
the 'consensus' reached in the process was that the Iranians already had a presence in 
the Balkans and that the 'no instructbns' message would not lead to a significant increase 
in Iranian presence or influence.'" This consensus prediction proved to be woefully 
inaccurate.'* Galbraith and Vershbow shared the hope that Croatia would accede to the 
pressure to allow the pipeline even though the NATO allies would discover the arms flow, 
and despite the fact that some members of the Croatian govemment opposed it'^ 
Whether other relevant United States officials felt the same way or were advised at all of 
the split in the Croatian Govemment is unknown, given the information made available. 
Lake and Berger were unaware of that split'* 

Vershbow and Tamoff never discussed with Galbraith the type of arms whteh the 
Iranians anticipated shipping through the pipeline, nor dkJ they discuss with him how such 
an arms flow couM be controlled, so as to prevent chemical weapons or other undesirable 

'* Talbott Dep. at 7; Tamoff Dep. at 22; Select Subcommittee Interview of 
Anthony Lake, Sep. 26. 1996, at 1 (hereinafter take Int'): Select Subcommittee 
Interview of Samuel Berger (hereinafter 'Berger Int'), Sep. 25. 1996, at 2. 

'*^ Tamoff Dep. at 31. 

'* See Chapters 12. 13 and 14. 

'^ Vershbow Dep. at 48-56. 

'*> Lake Int at 1; Berger Int at 2. 


arms from entering the Bosnian theatre."' There is no evidence that this aspect of the 
decision was discussed with or between higher level officials. 

Undersecretary TamofTs recollection indicates that, during the decision-making 
process, there was no discussion by officials of the impact of the "no instructions" solution 
upon the United States policy toward Iran,'^ and there was no consideration that the 'no 
instructions' guidance coukJ send Iran the wrong message about US attKudes or policy.'" 
Vershbow was aware at the time he participated in the discussions that the Iranian agenda 
was to gain greater influence, promote Islamic fundamentalism and support anti-Westem 
aims. The US policy widely utKJerstood in the Administration at that time, was to isolate 
Iran, economically, militarily, and politically.'^ 

Exactly Where We Want to Be 

On April 29, 1994, Special Envoy Charies Redman anived in Zagreb, Croatia to find 
Ambassador Galbraith still imp>atiently awaiting a response from the Department of State 
which he would feel comfortable conveying to President Tudjman. Redman has testified 
that he traveled to Zagreb on that date to brief President Tudjman on Contact Group 
issues, and had been advised by Galbraith by telephone that he (Redman) needed to be 
briefed on something prior to the meetir>g with President Tudjman. Ambassador Galbraith 
provided no details as to the subject matter, out of concem that the telephone call may 
have been monitored by the Croatians.''^ 

Redman and Galbraith nr>et at the Ambassador's residence. Redman recalls being 
briefed on the Tudjman question and has testified that he could not see how the 
appropriate answer could be anything other than 'no instructions.' It was dear to him. 
however, that Ambassador Galbraith wanted further instructions from Washington.'^ 
Ambassador Galbraith asked Defense Attache Richard Herrick. who was present at the 

"' Vershbow Dep. at 48-56. 

""TamoffDep. at43. 


"* Vershbow Dep. at 123-131; Tamoff Dep. at 41; Talbott Dep. 27-28. 

'** Redman Dep. at 37-46. 



Ambassador's residence that evening, to place a telephone call to Jenonne Walker of the 
National Security Council (NSC) ostensibly to discuss the Councils assistance in getting 
a demolition team to Croatia to assist with an ordinance issue. After placing the call. 
Hemck tumed the telephone over to Ambassador Galbraith Hemck's recollection of the 
remainder of the telephone call is that Ambassador Galbraith spoke with Jenonne Walker 
regarding the military demolition team issue and the Iranian arms question. Herrick recalls 
that Redman then spoke with Walker, although he did not overhear that conversation.'" 

Redman, in his deposition testimony before the Select Subcommittee stated that 
Galbraith spoke with Walker during that telephone conversation regarding the Tudjman 
question and received the "no instructions" instruction. Redman acknowledges that he 
then got on the line to speak with Walker, but only about Contact Group issues.'^ 

At the time of the above referenced telephone discussion. Jenonne Walker served 
on the staff of the National Security Council as the Senior Director for Europe. In the 
Spring of 1994. the countries which had constituted the fonner Yugoslavia (including 
Croatia and Bosnia) were the responsibility of the European Directorate.'" In that 
capacity, her duties included a coordinating role, such as chairing interagency committees. 
as well as the preparation of papers on various subjects for the President, reflecting the 
positions of the involved agencies.'** Prior to her service in that position. Walker had 
sen/ed as a CIA analyst, an assistant to CIA Director William Colby, an assistant to 
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a member of the Policy Planning Staff during the 
Carter Administration and as Director of the Office of UN and Eunspean Arms Control 
during the second terni of the Reagan Administration.'*' She left the NSC at the Ijeginning 
of July, 1 994, to prepare for her current positron as US Ambassador to the Czech Republto. 

Galbraith, Redman and Walker have given conflicting statements or testimony as 
to the content of the April 29, 1994 telephone conversatkjn. As noted eartier, Redman has 
testified he did not dipcuss the Tudjman questton with Walker. When Galbraith was talking 

'" Herrick Dep. at 24-31. 

'" Redman Dep. at 37^*6. 

"* Select Subcommittee Interview of Jenonne Walker, Aug. 21 . 1996, at 4 
(hereinafter "Walker Int*). 


to Walker, Redman could not hear Walker's side of the telephone discussion. Galbraith told 
Redman, after the call's completnn, that Walker said that Anthony Lake had given the "no 
instructions" instructk)n with a smile and raised eyebrows/'^ 

Galbraith, in describing the content of the telephone conversation, has also stated 
that Walker advised him that Lake's instructk>ns to him were to say that he had no 
instructions, but that Lake had sakJ this "Vrith raised eyebrows and a smile."^ 

Walker's recollection of the telephone conversation with Galbraith and Redman is 
that it occurred after she became aware that Galbraith had received the "no instructions" 
guidance, and after President Tudjman had first posed the question. She also recalls her 
discussion of the Tudjman question to be an 'add-on' to a conversation she had in a 
regular series of conversations with Redman regarding Bosnian issues. Typically in ♦'^C3 - 
calls, Redman woukl discuss his thoughts and observations regarding the Bosnian Civil 
War negotiations and check the "mood music' in Washington, that is, what the policy 
makers in Washington were thinking.^** 

Walker recollects that Redman informed her during the call from Zagreb that 
Galbraith had received instructions from the Department of State which both 'surprised and 
trout>led' Redman and Galbraith. Redman then put Galbraith on the telephone. Galbraith 
told her that State had instructed him to respornj to Presklent Tudjman's question about 
the US position on the transshipment of Iranian arms to Bosnia through Croatia by saying 
that the US was going to comply with the arms embargo on Bosnia and that the United 
State assunr>ed Croatia wouM also comply. Galbraith expressed his belief that such a 
response woukl reflect a change in US policy, and that the response would cause 
problems related to the newly created Federation.^** 

Walker toM Galbraith that it was her understanding at Uie time that Galbraith was 
to respond to the Tudjman question by advising that the US would comply with the 

'*' Redman Oep. at 46-50. 

'** MenrKirandum to the FBe. from Ambassador Peter Galbraith, May 6. 1994 
(hereinafter 'Galbraith Memorandum*). 

'** Walker Int at 1. 


embargo, but that Galbraith had no instructions as to Croatia.'** Given the discrepancy, 
she took up the matter with Anthony Lake. Lake told Walker to tell Ambassador Galbraith 
that he would be receiving the 'no instructions' instruction. Although she has no specific 
recollection of passing this information on to Galbraith. Walker doubts that she said that 
Lake had smiled and raised his eyebrows when conveying the "no instructions'message 
to her. as that is not something Lake would do or something that she would say. She also 
believes she did not indicate in that convensatwn that the no instructions matter had been 
decided in a meeting with the President, as she was never a party to any presidential 
discussions on the issue.'*' She also does not recall discussing ordinance demolition 
issues with either Redman or Galbraith. 

Following the telephone conversation with Walker, Galbraith's mood and approach 
changed as he and Redman prepared for the dinner meeting scheduled for that evening 
with President Tudjman. Ambassador Galbraith rehearsed a number of embellishments 
of the simple "no instructions," and he decided that he would try to explain the response 
to Tudjman by saying, "Pay attention to what I don't say as well as what I do say. I arn not 
saying yes or no." Redman and Galbraith believed that they could not say "no" because 
that response would hurt the Federatwn, and that they could not say "yes" because of the 
embargo. Galbraith was satisfied with his guidance from Walker and his planned 
embellishment as the two of them departed for the Tudjman dinner.'** 

The dinner meeting on the evening of April 29, 1994 was held at the PreskJential 
Palace in Zagreb. As expected. President Tudjman asked the US positi^on the 
transhipment of Iranian and other amis to Bosnia. According to Galbraith,^ 

■■■i^ly Galbraith has stated that 
in reply to Tudjman's question and remarks, he stated that his statement from the day 
before still stood. Galbraith sakj he had no instructions from Washington on the issue, and 
urged Presklent Tudjman to focus not only on what he had said, but also on what he had 


"' Walker Int. at 2. 

'*• Redman Dep. at 46-50. 


not said 

President Tudjman was apparently still, confused. He pulled Redman aside and 
asked again. Redman responded by telling President Tudjman, 'It's your decision. We 
don't want to be in a position of saying no.""" Following this exchange. President Tudjman 
seemed satisfied with the answer and as later events confirm, the Croatian Govemment 
concluded that the United States had given its approval to the Iranian arms conduit. 
Redman fully expected that, after hearing what he and Gaibraith had said, the Croatians 
would go ahead with the arms pipeline.^'' 

After the meefr>g and dinner at the Presidential Palace, Gaibraith and Redman 
discussed whether to report on the conversation by cable. Redman suggested that, 
because he was traveling back to Washington the following day, he could convey the 
events orally, in person, to Natk>nal Security Advisor Lake.'" One of Redman's objectives 
in reporting back to the Natkjnal Security Council on the events was to make sure that 
officials back in Washir>gton understood that the arms pipeline would most probat>ly open. 

On his arrival in Washington, Redman met with Lake and brought him up to date on 
the Contact Group and the April 29 Tudjman meeting. According to testimony provkled to 
the Select Subcommittee by Redman, Lake was not surprised about the meeting and 
indicated that he understood the results of the exchange. He expressed no reservations 
about what had been said, and posed no questions to Redman about K. Lake nfiade it 
clear to Redman that the PreskJent had been involved in the deciston and had himself 
personally deckled on the response to Tudjman. Lake also informed Redman that there 
was no need to report in writing on the April 29 conversatkan with Tudjman.'" Anthony 
Lake, when interviewed by the Select Sulxommittee, stated that he vaguely recollected 
meeting with Redman on this matter. Although Redman has testified that Lake showed 
no surprise when told what Gaibraith and Redman saki to Tudjman, Lake opined that he 
has a nrtemory of vigorously stating to all within earshot within a week of the Nixon funeral 
that 'no instructk^ns meaos rx) instructkjns.' He offered during his interview that the 

*** Gaibraith Memorandum. 
^" Redman Dep. at 50-56. 



response may have been made after Redman told him about the comments to Tudjman.'** 
On or about May 2. 1994. Redman told Ambassador Galbraith by telephone of Lake's 
direction not to report in writing on the issue.'** 

On April 30, 1994. the day after the dinner meeting with President Tudjman, press 
reports indicated that Croatian Prime Minister Valentic and the BQS Pian Deputy Prime 
Minister B ukvic had arrived in Iran separately on April 29. 1994.|^|i9BHII^M 

Galbraith had known in advance of the Valentic trip and was 
concerned tharlTthe US did not cleariy get its "non-objection" across to the Croatians 
regarding the Iranian arms pipeline, the trip could be canceled/'T^ 

On May 1 . the Secretary's Morning Summary mentioned the press reports of more 
economic cooperation between Croatia. Iran and Bosnia, commenting that this cooperation 
would strengt hen the Federation, but also give Iran a grea ter foothold in the fonn er 
Yugoslavia.'** /J^T^"^"^ 

By this time, it was becoming obvious that the response to the Tudjman question 
had avoided Galbraith's fears of derailing the Croatia-Iran arms pipeline and the economic 

'** Lake Int. at 2. 

'*" Galbraith Menrtorandum. 

^*^ Vershbow Dep. at 30-33; Vershbow Notes. 
'*• Department of State "Morning Summary." Apr. 30. 1994. 
"• Department of State "Moming Summary." May 1 . 1994. 
'** Departnrtent of State "Moming Summary." May 2. 1994. 


deal between those countries. The pipeline was open. In the words of Alexander 
Vershbow to Ambassador Galbraith on May 5, 1994, "You and Chuck have taken it exactly 
where we want to t)e."'*' 

Mine Shaft Canary 

A period of confusion, second thoughts and miscommunication regarding the 
wisdom and execution of the "no instructions" instructksns began on Monday, May 2, 1994. 
As noted earlier, it was on May 2 that Redman informed Ambassador Galbraith that he had 
spoken with National Security Advisor Lake and that Lake had said that there was no need 
to report in writing on the AJarii 29 meeting with President Tudjman. Both Redman and 
Galbraith have stated they believe that Lake was satisfied with the manner in which the "no 
instructions' message was conveyed. Ambassador Galbraith expressed through his 
actions and words in the next few days no reluctance to assure that the Iranian arms 
pipeline would k>ecome operatkmai. 

Also on May 2. ^rpbassador Ga lbraith met with the his^^Hi^HH||and 
instructed him to use h\^0^KKK^Ro advise the Croatians that it was US policy to 
h^ve no position as to the enforcemSnfof the UN arms embargo. He explained to the 
lat he and Redman had already conveyed the ' no ijistnjctions" nag ssage 
to PresidenrTudjman on instructions from Washington. ThefiBMWBWy asked 
Ambassador Galbraith if the response given woukj not send the message to the Croatians 
that they could go forward with bringing Iranian weaponry into the area. Galbraith said that 
Washington was aware of this and that he had done all that he could to let the Croatians^ 
know that the United States would look the other way, without actually saying so.^'^'^^ 

Disturt>ed by this unusual and potentially dangerous shift in policy, the^ 
|asked to see the Amt>assador's instructions. When Ambassador Galbraith sakJ his^ 
instructions canr^ telephonically from the Natk>nal Security Council, the 
replied tha t he wquM r>eed guidance from his headquarters before he a>ukj use the 
jto convey such a message to the Croatians, since such enaction 
I a covert action. Galbra 'ittiJ?ecame angry and 'ordered* thefljI^B 
[ to convey the message. Again, thejHHHHBM'efused to act as directed, 

**^ Galbraith Memorandum. 


stressing the need for guidance given the legal and oversight issues 

The agitated Ambassad QC-questioned ^ at right thejWiWWyhad to block 
the policy of the President. ThqaHHH99|presponded that he vt/as hSTattempting to 
block policy, but that he needed to see some sort of written instmctions from the Pre sident 
or at least consult his headquarters first. Galbraith continued his argugQen^iththaSpH 
■■■flby declaring that Tony La kglhad wanted ta .know why th^JpHHHB^nd 
DefenSeAttache Herrick had told the^^D9HIIII|^nd^ys^uespectj^ly thiat the US 
policy was still to enforce the UN arms embargo. Th^^^HHMHreplied with a 
number of reasons, among them the fact that President Clinton had reaf fipped that polic 
in a statement on April 20, 1994. Frustrated by his inability to change the 
mind, Galbraith ended the conversationJ^lMjJ^ ** 

Shortly after this discussion, Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke informed theJ 
J that Galbraith had never actually spoken to Anthony Lake, and that he (Fjeitzke) 
had advised Galbraith not to push the "policy line." Neitzke also characterized the 
Ambassador as being in a "Capitol Hiil mode," making policy, cutting deals and maybe 
getting out ahead of Waghington on J b'S policy issue.'** Subsequent discussions with 
Neitzke revealed to theflPBBHH^het, as of May 4, 1994, the Embassy had still not 
received any written guidance on !he Iranian arms issue. Neitzke also expressed his 
understanding that the failure tqissue written instructbns had been deliberate for reasons 
of establishing deniabilitv^^^^^ 

ht decision, and 

sought guidance 

with the 

On May 4, 1994. disturtjed by the dangers of the J 
concerned as to whether it truly was the US policy, th^ 
from his headquarters in a cable which summarized his cxtnversati 
Ambassador. With the memory of the Iran-Contra scandal still fresh 

fwise ly and fortunately b egagto funcE 

fas a "mine shaft canary," 
assuring that activities and events were carefully documented in this sensitive area of 

^'^ Ambassador Galbraith had served for over a decade on the staff of the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 


quasi-covert activity/** On May 5. 19&4. the JjpBjj^^^Mtvas advised that he should 
continue to refrain from using his^PMBMByo influence Croatian policy towards 
embargo busting unless he was specifically instructed otherwise. He was further 
commended with a "well^ oqg" an d advised that perhaps a telephone call from Woolsey 
to Lake was in order. ^,22^^^^ 

raised with Ambassador 

and invited him to send a 

mbassador indicated that the 

no longer be necessary, as the "ball is 

i2!ling." He also stated 'that he saw m) ne edjpr him to send a message on the matter to 

K^ The^HIHHIri^also met with Neitzke on that 

On that same date, May 5, 1994, tj] 
Galbraith, ths, issue of his request 
message toi 
communication through 


day, and Neitzke filled him in on his understanding of the events of April 2P at the 
Presidential Palace. He related that Galbraith had been told to tell Tudjman that he had 
no instmctions regarding the enforcement of Croatian compliance with the arms embargo 
and to "smile when he said it."'*' Neitzke added that after the Ambassador conveyed this 
remark. President Tudjman still missed the point and went for a walk with Redman. 
Redman then told Tudjman that the Untied States did not want to be put in the position of 
having to say 'No" on the issue. According to Neitzke's version, all concerned understood 
that the arms shipments were to come from Middle Eastem countries, principally Iran "^ 

During that same discussion, Neitzke informed theJfplH^HMtfthat it was his 
further understanding that Galbraith had been told by the National Secunty Council that 
reports of the Tudjman discussion were not to be put on paper and that the Ambassador's 
job would be imperilled or forfeit if it was. Sensing the irregularity of the situatbn, Neitzke 
had urged the Ajnbassador to write a memorandum on the incident for the Ambassador's 
pro tesltion. To Ngj^ ke's knowledge, the Ambassador had not yet done so as of May 5. 
The|fl|^HII|0asked Neitzke why, if the policy was defensible as a means of helping 
the Bosnian Musl'ms, it shoukl not be put in writing. Neitzke's understanding, based on 


his conversations with the Ambassador, was that either those involved in the decision had 
failed to fully coordinate with their superiors or did not wish for the incident to be the subject 
of coordination with the Department of Defense or CIA. Throughout this May 5 discussion, 
Neitzke was very concerned and anxious thai if any of this information got out to the 
national security community, the "White Mouse' would "have their heads." [WB ^^^BI 
^Bi^jf^xpressed support for Neitzke's plan to push Galbraith to write a memorandum. 
Despite Neitzke's mis gi^ngs about sharir\g. these events and concerns with other 
government agencies,JBBBBBBIiHHyrepoi^d on his May 5 discussions with 
Galbraith and Neitzke to his headquarterC 

J^ mbassador Galbraith began to share the concerns of Neitzke and ]_ 
^■H^He spoke by telephone with Sandy Vershbow at least once, maybe twice on May 
5. 1S94. Although Vershbow and Galbraith denied during the course of the Select 
Subcommittee's investigation that Vershbow rebuked, reprimanded or criticized Galbraith 
for his conduct in the "no instruction" exchange, evidence of Galbraith's contemporary 
reaction to his discussions with Vershbow and other State officials establishes that he was 
verbally chastised for his conduct.'" As late as July of 1994. Galbraith was still angry over 
having had his "knuckles rapped" by State and having been called on the carpet for his 
conduct in giving the "no instructions" message.'" Galbraith claims that on May 5. he 
informed Vershbow of the content of his and Redman's statements to Tudjman, and that 
Vershbow told him that "you and Chuck have taken it exactly where we want to be." adding 
that "at the highest level we do not wish to interpose ourselves between the Iranians and 
the Croatians.""* Galbraith's later actions reveal that the conversation with Vershbow was 
not as reassuring as he now portrays it? 

Later that evening on May 5. 1994, after a meeting at his residence with Defense 
Attache Herrick, Neitzke and General George Joulwan (Commander-in-Chief of the US 
European Command), Ambassador Galbraith asked Henick to take him back to the 
Embassy for purposes of making a secure phone call. Galbraith got through to 
Washington shortly after midnight. Zagreb time. The available evidence suggests that he 

^^* Galbraith Memorandum. 


spoke with Jenonne Walker at the NSC. Herrick overheard him asking whether his 
response to Tudjman was proper policy. He mentioned the rebuke he received from 
Vershbow and commented that, as an Ambassador, he worked for the President, not the 
Department of State. Galbraith repeated that he had given the Croatians a wink and a nod 
at the direction of the NSC and that Redman had done a good deal more than that. He 
asked whether the US was ready to bac k him and Croa||a on this issue. Hem'ck also heard 
Galbraith state during the call that thefi^^HBHwand Hemckhad reported on the 
issue, and there was rK> guarantee thatit would nofgit out^^^p^^ 

aving been advised of the prevbus month's unusual events in Zagreb. officialsMf 
were not at all certain that Ambassador Galbraith's activities had been properly 

coordinated or^g fe talking the United Statesj 
May 5, 1994^P^Headquarters ^ 

^ised the 

jywhere pe ar it wa nted or ought to be. On 

*^ Jto continu e to resist 

Galbraith's request to the use th^MWMII^^tf^* yfc||pofficialsMBBpjarrariged 
to have R. James Woolsey, Director of Central Inl^ligence. raise the event^in^agreb with 
Secretary of State Warren Christopher at a meeting on May 5, 199^ ^ 

The conversation at the May 5 meeting has been the subject of slightly conflicting 
testimony, as have been the recollections of the participants as to the reasons for the 
meeting, and the impressions it left. It is undisputed, however, that Woolsey and Deputy 
Director for Intelligence Doug MacEachin were present at the meeting for the CIA, and that 
Secretary Christopher, Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott and Ambassador Phil Wilcox of 
the Department of State also attended. The recollection of the CIA participants, assisted 
by a menrorandum for the record the CIA notetaker prepared immediately aftgr the 
meeti ng,'" is tha t Woolsey raised the issue by describing the repoi^Jrom the 
tat Ambassador Galbraith was urging him to usq 

fto the Croatian government that the US would look the 
other way from Croatian transshipments of arms from Iran to Bosnia. Woolsey informed 
the attendees that he had also given this information to National Security Adviser Lak^ 

Secretary Christopher said nothing in response. Talbott replied that he had been 
called by Deputy National Security Advisor Samuel Berger after Woolsey's call to Lake. 
He then infbnned Woolsey of the situation in Zagreb from the perspective of the 

'^ Herrick Dep. 32-39:j^BVBHVHHHI(May 9, 1994. 

'^^I^HiHM^mi^iHyMayS, 1994. 

^" CIA Document. Memo for the Record by Douglas MacEachin. May 5. 1994. 


Department of State. Taltx)tt said that Galbraith had been told twice (once before his 
meeting with Tudjman and once after) that he had "no instructions" as to Tudjman's 
question. After his first meeting with Tudjman, Galbraith contacted the Department of State 
and requested more in the way of instructions, seeking something on the order of an 
"amber light." Talbott indicated to the attendees that Galbraith had been told "rather tartly" 
that he should stick to his 'no instructions" statement with nothing more. He had been told 
that he was not to hint at having any "wiggle room." Talbott further commented that 
Galbraith was apparently not absorbing the message and would be informed again so he 
could not misunderstand. Woolsey was not informed of any change in United States policy 
during the meeting, and left with the impression that no such policy change had 

Talbott recalls the conversation essentially as does Woolsey, and has testified 
publicly that, in his view, the "no instructions" message to Ambassador Galbraith had not 
been a 'change in policy," hence there was no discussion of such a change at the meeting. 
He did not at the time appreciate the "disconnect" in his communications with Woolsey."' 

Doug MacEachin, who served as the CIA notetaker at the meeting described the 
discussion in these terms: 

[0]ur Ambassador is asking our Ji^Bimpyo take an active step to 
permit an arms shipment that we - that I go to meetings on, that we are 
supposed to be against. What's going on here? ... and that's the way I 
heard Woolsey present it, saying you know, is your ambassador being too 
ambitious, or has there been a change? And Talbott said . . . I've checked 
everything that he has been told and it's unambiguous. He has been tokj "no 

instmctions," he is not to indicate any wiggle room He apparently hasrTt 

gotten the message and we are going to give him the message again/" 

ld.:MBIHHS|BHBI|BlB/^ay 6. 1996; House Permanent "Vf^S, 
Select ComrMee on Intelligence Depos'rtion of R. James Woolsey. June 6. 1996. at lO.s^J 

'" Hearing On t IS Artinns Regarding Iranian Arms Shipments Into Bosnia 
Rftfnre the Senate Select rommJHPft On Intelligence . 104th Cong. 86-89 (May 23. 
1996) (Testimony of Strobe Talbott). 

'*• Select Subcommittee Deposition of Douglas MacEachin, Sept 6. 1996. at 66. 


When leaving the meeting, Ambassador Wilcox stated that Ambassador Galbraith was (or 
was going to be) in trouble with his "boss."'" 

The events atj^he May 5. 1994 Woolsey-Taibott meeting were conveyed to the 
Dy cable on M ay 6. 1994 . Hej^as further advisedlhat there had. 
been no change in l7§ policy, and thaMtl^HBm^would advise the£_^ 
if and when, any such jbange occurr^ !^ The cable by which he received this information 
also commended thqflB^I^HBV^^'^ ^'^ excellent judgment^^nder intense pressure 
and for having kept headquarters well-advised of events.'. 


In Zagreb, the Woolsey-Taibott meeting had an unsettling impact on Ambassador 
Galbraith and Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke. On May 6, 1994. Deputy Secretary Talbott 
spoke with Galbraith by telephone. Three versions of this telephone conversation have 
been given during the course of this investigation. Galbraith set forth one version of the 
conversation in an alnxsst contemporaneous written memorandum he prepared on May 6, 
1994."* Talt)Ott testified regarding the conversation, both publicly and in closed session. 
Moreover, contemporaneous notes taken by Sandy Vershtiow of a conversation between 
Taltxstt and Vershbow contain another version of the Talbott-Galbraith discussion.'*' From 
the aforementioned sources, it appears that the substance of the conversation between 
Talbott and Galbraith was as follows. 

Mr. Talbott, after his meeting with Woolsey, had a concern that "something more 
than and other than no instructions was being transmitted."'" As a result of the uncertainty 
over the policy, he had a concem that the right signal had not been sent to the Croatians. 
He telephoned Ambassador Galbraith on May 6 to try to address that concem. During the 
discussion, Galbraith informed Taltx>tt of the instructions he had received from Jenonne 
Walker, and the remark about Tony Lake smiling and raising his eyebrow. Talbott informed 
him that his instnjctions on the Tudjman question had been "no instnjctions" and that the 

'•' Id. at 19. 


^** Galbraith Memorandum. 

'" Vershbow Dep. at 73-81; Vershbow Notes. 

'••Talbott Dep. at 14. 


Administration did not want word to get out that the US had given "a green or amber light" 
to the Croatians. Galbraith recounted exactly what he and Redman had said to President 
Tudjman on the issue, and explained that anything short of a statement that the Croatians 
should not facilitate the Iranian arms flow would be understood as a "green light" from the 
United States.'" He informed Talbott that the Croatians. if cornered, would put out the 
word that we had given a green light, especially since the arms traffic would be picked up 
by NATO and UNPROFOR. Galbraith also noted that the Croatians would view this new 
statement of position in the context of the interception of the 1992 Iran Air shipment and 
the seizure of a Croatian vessel smuggling arms just a few weeks earlier.'" 

Ambassador Galbraith recalls Talbott stating in the telephone conversation that the 
United States wanted to do nothing that would undermine the "fragile" Muslim-Croat 
Federation, but it also did not want to be seen as undermining the arms embargo. Talt>ott 
told Galbraith that he was doing an excellent job, and that he had earned the messages 
on the issue with great skill given the confusion in Washington. Talbott opined that the 
"home office had not distinguished itself." Talljott was also curious as to whether the 
United States could "walk this situation back." By this statement. Talbott now claims that 
he meant "walking it back would mean make sure that the Croatians aren't reading more 
into this than we are saying."'*' Galbraith replied that to do so would be almost impossible 
unless the US wanted to cut off the flow of arms. When Galbraith said that he had been 
tokJ not to report on the Tudjman exchange and asked if Talbott wanted a written report. 
Tallxjtt sakj. "Yes." but he should not send one unless contacted by Vershbow or Assistant 
Secretary Oxman."° 

Ambass ador Galbraith, troubled by his telephone conversatio p_yvith TalbotI 
approached thejJBBBMHB jPIJfcn that sam e date. He asked the 
what "exactly" he had shared withH^HIHHHlfion the Iranian arms i 
"ireplied that he had reported Galbraith's request that he use the 

"^ The notes and testinnony of Sandy Vershbow indicate that when Mr. Talbott 
recounted his conversation with Galbraith to Mr. Vershbow, he described Galbraith's 
renr^rk to Presklent Tudjman as 'no instructtons. yet we don't want to interpose 
ourselves, so call attention to what I dkJn't say." Vershbow Dep. at 73-81 . 

'•• Galbraith Memorandum. 

*" Talbott Dep. at 25-30; Galbraith Memorandum. 

^*" Galbraith Memorandum. 


to convey the "no instnjctions" message. Ambas sador Galbraith j ^as very curious about 
the language used and any knowledge that the MBMHHH^had about the May 5 
meeting between Talbott and Woolsey. Galbraithstated t ha^^TaJbott had Qg ntacted him 
to tell him that Woolsey stated that he thought, based on the^JH|HHH[»nfomiation, 
jt the 'high ^ n" for the Iranian arms pipeline was given by Galbraith and Redman. The 
(replied that he told his headquarters about the "no instructions' message 
and how, in^mbination with intelligence availablQ^it anx)unted to a "go-ahead." Galbraith 
acknowledged the truth of this statement J'^^ 

The j^B^^^Mf reminded Ambassador Galbraith that this confusion was part 
of the danger^jjushmg an uncoordinated policy line and the consequence of not 
informing the^JBof what was going on. He brought to the attention of the Ambassador 
a recent tasking request from the Department of Defense on May 5 seeking information 
on Iranian arms shipments into Bosnia and what could be done to stop them.'" The 
Ambassador characterized thi s/equest as the department of Defense just trying to find out 
what was going on. and tha^^HB||pi^rea^ agreed, noting that the Defense 
officials ought to be informeoasto this issue. 


The two discussed the fact that foreign apd allied intellig ence sources were taking 
an interest in the Iranian-Croat deal, and the^^BHHH|y predicted that any decent 
foreign intelligence service would t>e able to "walk this issue back," given the unreliability 
of the players. Ambassador Galbraith ventu rgd his opiniortJ^ at this issue was not as 
serious a matter politically as Iran-Contra. Th^|2pH|^|P|^nswered that, if this were 
so. why had no written instructions been provided? He fOrther urged Galbraith to creat 
a memorandum of his conversations about his instructbns, for his own protection J| 

Ambassador Galbraith took to heart the advice of Neitzke and the 
On May 6, 1994 he created a written memorandum for record, setting firth his version of 
the discussions with Presklent Tudjman, NSC officials, State Department officials and 
Redman. His secretary, Charlotte Stottman, typed the memorandum, and it was signed 


and dated by Galbraith. and by Neitzke. as a witness/*' After the document was signed 
in front of Stottman. she sealed it in an envelope and locked it in the Ambassador's safe. 
The Ambassador told Stottman that the memorandum was for his own protection because 
of events which had taken place where he had received instructions over the telephone 
from Washington. The memorandum would serve as his proof of the events which 
occurred. The menx)randum remained in the safe until Captain David Wesley, working for 
the President's IrU^lligence Oversight Board, asked to have it read to him in the winter of 
1 994-1 995.!!^ 

"Hunker Down" 

May 6, 1994 was also a day of worry and second thoughts about the Iranian green 
light in Washington. D.C. Deputy Secretary Talbott and Vershbow discussed Talbott's 
conversation with Ambassador Galbraith. Talbott recounted his directive to Galbraith to 
'walk it back " if he could to 'no instructions" only. He pointed out that Galbraith had 
received mixed signals, hearing both that Washington had not made a decision and that 
he had no instructions. Talbott worried that the US needed to "get the right signal on the 
record," but that it might be too difficult to do so. In evaluating the available courses of 
action. Talbott stated that perhaps they would have to "hunker down" and let things stay 
as they were. Talbott told Vershbow that he had decided that, if anything were put in 
writing, there should be only one copy. Talbott feared that public disclosure of what had 
happened would create serious difficulty with the United States' allies."' 

On May 6 or May 7. Taltxjtt and Vershbow discussed the rapidly growing concerns 
at the National Security Council atxjut the "no instructions" events. Talbott reported that 
he had met with Deputy National Security Advisor Berger. Berger, on the subject of the 
'no instructions" events, stated that he thought it would be "dynamite to do a record." 
meaning that there should be no paper trail."* In his remarks to Vershbow. Talbott also 

'"^ Galbraith Memorandum. 

'•" Stottman Dep. at 26. 

"^ Vershbow Dep. at 73-81; Vershbow Notes. 

"• Vershbow Dep. at 92-94; Vershbow Notes. When interviewed by the Select 
Subcommittee Staff. Mr. Berger did not specifically recall making this remari<. but 
speculated that if he said it, it may have been in reference to potential damage to 
relations with our allies. Berger InL at 2. 


made reference to Jenonne Walker's being disciplined."* Although Walker, when 
inten/iewed by the Select Subcommittee Staff, denied having been disciplined or criticized 
by any of her superiors at the NSC, she did reveal that when she approached Berger with 
a request from Ambassador Galbraith that he receive his instnjctions in writing, Berger 
replied with words to the effect of "Dammit. Jenonnel Shut up! He is not going to get his 
Instruction In writing, he has his instnjctions."'"' Contrary to later public and private 
contentions that the, Iranian green light policy was a sound and well executed, the doubts 
and near panic regarding its wisdom and impact v/ere very much in evidence in May 1994. 


janic was also growing in Zagreb. On May 6 or May 7, Neitzktspoke with th? 

zk ggpoke wrth the , 
Jabout his concerns over recent events. Neitzke told thqSHHBHjw 
'that Galbraith had talked to Talbott on May 6 and that the Washington officials were rtoj^ 
denying that they ever intended to indicate acquiescence to the Iranian-Croatian dealings. 
They also reportedly could not t>elieve that the Croatians so indiscreetly allowed so many 
Iranian deliveries so qurckly. Neitzke felt that the Ambassador was worried about being 
made a scapegoat for the green light decision. Galbrai^ s^ent a good portion of May 6 
on the secure phone with Redman and Washington^^^l^^^^ 

Witbin the next wee Js^rtM ay 12. 1994, Ambassador Galbraith sought th^ 

view on the ^Hfir understanding of the US pojigy on Iraniac 

transhipfnents. He was espeaally interested in anything that th^ 

krK)w atXMjt the discussnns between Wodsey and Lake on the issue. The 

advised Galbraith that he had heard nothing new. Galbraith also stated that he had 

received a phone call from a reporter regarding Iranian arms on May 11,^ that he had_ 

responded with a "no comment*** On that same day, Neitzke told the _ 

that Galt)raith had received an apology from the NSC for being left out on a limb, and that 

policy was. indeed, the wink and nod approach.*" Defense Attache Herrick also advised 

'•• Vershbow Dep. at 92-94; Vershbow Notes. In his deposition testimony. 
Vershbow irnJicated that perhaps Jenonne Walker had been disciplined for conveying 
the position to Galt>raith and her remarks about the smile and raised eyet>rows. Walker 
denied ever being disdpfined. 


Walker Int at 3. 


f hat he was receiving numerous calls from the Department of Defense 

on the Iranian arffis issue, and that the Department of Defense was in the dark, wondering 
what was going on.*** From the vantage point of Zagreb, there appeared to be confusion 
among the departments in Washington on this new policy, and a lingeHQg fear in the 
Embassy that Washington might disavow the Ambassador's activitv ^ii^L O 

The Iranians and Croatians had wasted little time in turning on the arms pipeline. 
As the Embassy Zagreb Public Affairs officer would later t estify, the sudden and open 
presence of Iranian arms flights was quite "provocative.""' 

Western journalists noted the sudden appearance of Iranian aircraft in Croatia.^'^ 
On May 25, after seeing one newspaper story in the Washington Post conceming Iranian 
arms shipment to Croatia, Fred Baron, a US Representative to the UN Security Council 
Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 724 (1991) Conceming Yugoslavia, 
suggested at a meeting of the Committee that the Committee should look into the alleged 

Hovanec Dep. at 22. 


violations of the arms embargo by Iran.*'* Clearly the US representatives serving on 
various UN bodies concerned with arms embargo issues were not advised of the Iranian 
green light policy. Fortunately in light of the potential for embarrassment. Secretary Ngobi 
of the Committee advised that he had already sent letters to the Governments of Croatia 
and Bosnia asking them to investigate the story, as well as a letter requesting a response 
from Iran. The US was spared the ordeal of being exposed as a hypocrite.*" 

A UN Sanctions Committee team traveled to Zagreb in May 1994 to investigate the 
delivery of Iranian arms through Croatia. The British had expressed concern about Ujese 
arms embgrgo violations. In late May of 1994. Ambassador Galbraith informed th^^iB 
that the investigation had been inconclusive.*'* It is readily appar^t that 
GalbrdRh had not gone out of his way to assist the visiting UN investigatore^^^^T* 

In addition to the CIA and the United Nations, the Department of Defense, then 
involved in the interdiction of arms embargo violators, was not infonned of the US tolerance 
or complicity in the Iranian arms pipeline, let alone the Iranian green light policy decision. 
As of May 5, 1994. the Secretary of Defense had requested that the CIA provide 
information relative to the clandestine arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims.*" As noted 
earlier, as of May 12. 1994. Defense Attache Henick was also receiving inquiries from the 
Department of Defense Iranian arms shipments.*'* 

Department of Defense interest in the issue reached a crescendo on approximately 
May 13, 1994. On the eve of a "Principals Meeting"*'^ in Washington, the Defense 

*'* ProvisionaLSumma ry R ecord of the 1 Q4th Closed M eeting of . the Security 
C ouncil Committ ee Established Pursuant to Resoluti on 724 Concerning Yu goslavia 
(1991). at 11-12. 

"^ A meeting of cabinet level national security officials, usually consisting of at 
least the Secretaries of State and Defense, the National Security Advisor and, 
frequently, the DCI. 


Attache's Office in Zagreb was contacted with frantic calls from the Pentagon seeking 
information on the Iranian arms flow for use in briefing Secretary William Perry. As Herrick 
was abs gptfrom the Emb assy atjbe time, his ass istant sought advice on how to respond 
from theplpBBBI^Q The^P^HMMj^Hj^vised h inaJo wait for Heq ick's return. 
Ambassador Galbraith asked th ^Bp ^^B^pwhat t hj^BWil ^instructions 
were on responding to the requestslor information. Thq^B|^B BBB|^ es£pnded that 
he was not to get involved in the matter or raise it irihi^|k|riBSHBF Galbraith 
commented that the Department of Defense should get "on board, and add6?nhat he was 
covered on the issue, as he was following instaictions from the White House.*" Neitzke, 
upon teaming of the Pentagon inquiries, expressed his desire to talk to Herrick before he 
communicated anything back to the Pentagon.*" Evidence further suggests that upon 
Herrick's return to the Embassy. Galbraith told him not to respond to inquiries from 
Washington on the Irarugn arms issue beyond references to press or intelligence reports 
already availabl^^J^H^ 

The suspicions of the Ambassador, the/i^— M^ and Neitzke that the 
Department of Defense had not been advised of the Iranian green light policy, provoked 
anxious discussion on July 21 . 1994 reg ar^ng an immig gnt visit to Croatia by Secretary 
Perry. Ambassador Galbraith asked the^BBHHMpwhether or not Croatian Prime 
Minister Valentic (a significant figure ir ytb'eTran-Croat^ Telationship) should be invited to 
have lunch with Secretary Perry. TheMB— ^^entured his opinion that to do so 
couW create an awkward situation if. asTFey all suspeaed. Secretary Perry had not been 
informed of the Iranian green light/no instructions decision. The Ambassador wanted to 
discuss the matter further in the Secure Conference room at the Embassy. In that 
discussion, Galbraith stated that he was tired of the CIA and Department of Defense 
running a separate foreign policy from that of the DepartmeriL of State, the NSC and 
'probably* that of the President on the Iranian amns issue. The^|iHHiH|^isagreed 
with Galbraith and pointed out that the Director of Central Intelligence had beenpejsonally 
told by the Department of State that the "wink and nod" was not US policy^*' 

Galbraith asked 

wrhether he thought Secretary Perry might raise 


the Iranian arms issue. The^Spi^HB^^said that he could not speak for the Secretary 
of Defense and opined that Galbraith was probably better placed to guess what might have 
been happening back in Washington. Galbraith responded that he thought he knew what 
went on, and that he, in any event, had acted on instructions. The discussion then turned 
to the subject of the Ambassador's concem that Croatian Defense Minister Susak might 
raise the issue with Secretary Perry, and how Sysakmightreact if the Secretary told him 
that the arms embargo remained in force. Th^/MIMB HBBf replied that although Susak 
would t>e confused, he would probably continuethe Iranian shipments. Defense Attache 
Herrick had the final vwjrd on the issue, when asked if there was "angst" at the Department 
of Defense over the issue and whether Galbraith should raise it with Secretary Perry. 
Herrick replied that the level of concem at the Department vaned. Herrick also advised 
against Galbraith rajsingthe issue with Secretary Perry, warning that it might open up 
"Pandora's I In ^"ijjQ'^ 

Unt>eknownst to the participants in this meeting. Secretary Perry had already flipped 
open the proverbial lid on Pandora's Box. only to have it slammed shut by Anthony Lake. 
In June of 1994. Secretary Perry met with Lake, asking for clarification regarding why the 
US had not taken action to block the Iranian arms shipments to Croatia. According to a 
Department of Defense official. Lake replied that he was tired of hearing about the issue 
and that the shipments would be permitted to continue. Secretary Perry was upset about 
the situation and Lake's response.*^ 

Others in high positions at the Department of Defense were also in the dark abtout 
the green light. From April 1994 to June 1996, General Wesley Clark served as the J-5, 
that is, as Director of Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. As the 
J-5, General Claris was the staff officer who advised the Chaimian of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff on US military policies woridwide. In April and May of 1994, General Claris was 
neither consulted nor informed of the Iranian green light decision. Although aware in May 
of 1994 that there was an influx of arms into Bosnia, he did not know the reason for it or 
that the US was involved with it His understanding was that US policy was to enforce the 
UN arnts embargo, and he regularly saw reports indicating that the embargo was, in fact, 
being enforced.*** 

*** Select Subcommittee Deposition of General Wesley Clark. Sept. 4. 1996, at 


As the summer of 1 994 ^pte on. it becaip e more and more apparent to Ambassador 
Galbraith, Mr. Neitzke and theifl[|0iilBBthat the list of those unaware of the Iranian 
green light was lengthy and troubling. Through all of Galbraith's display of bravado, he and 
Neitzke became increasingly dismayed at the prospect of being hung out to dry if and 
when the misguided decision was exposed. Throughout the summer. Galbraith probed 
visitors and officials for information on the issue. 

On a June 
a regent meeting 

ad with the. 



raith quizzed th 


_ Galbraith tried, without success, to get an acknowledgment of CjAinvolvemerit in the 
Iranian arms situation.^ On that same date. Neitzke spoke with the^^BB^^about 
his perception that Galbraith was sitting on "the horns of a dilemma." Neitzke was 
concerned that, because Galbraith was without written instmctions. Washington would 
hang him out to dry. He speculated tnat Charle s_Bedman and ^e ponne Walker would be 
in the same unpleasant predicament.^ The^i^BlHBI^^speculated it appeared 
possible that the instmctions had been an NSC directive without the Departme]^LUi([^tate's 
knowledge and that no one at State was willing to stand up for Galbraith^^* 

Ambassador Galbraith's search for clues about the Washington scene continued on 

_ I Galbraith questioned a visiting team of intelligence analysts from the Balkan 

""Task Force regarding their knowledge of the Iranian arms issue. He specifically asked if 

they had seen anything to indicate that there was a US govemment connection to the 

Iranian arms flow. The analysts responded that they had not seen anything definrtive on 


Later in July of 1 994. Deputy Chief of Missksn Neitzke visit ejljyVashington. A fter his 
return to Zagreb, he met with Ambassador Galbraith and the^BHHH|^for the 
purpose of receiving an intelligence report on the latest Iranian arms deliveries loXroatia. 
Neitzke shared his observations on what various Washington officials knew about the 
decision to look the other way with regard to the Iranian arms shipments. Neitzke 
expressed his clear impressk>n that the Department of Defense and the CIA had no 


knowledge of the policy on the Iranian arms. He was even doubtful whether the State 
Department was on board, declaring, "You could not find two people at State who have the 
same idea as to our policy in the region much less on Iranian arms."^ 

Neitzke continued in this vein, stating that it was his understanding that the issue 
of whether Iranian weapons deliveries to Croatia should be tacitly allowed had been raised 
by Secretary Christopher with Anthony Lake. Neitzke had heard that Christopher was 
equivocal on the issue and told Lake that he might go along if nothing was put in writing. 
Upon hearing this, Galbraith remarked that the scenario didn't explain why he had his 
'knuckles rapped' by the State Department on this issue. Neitzke responded that there 
was inconsistent knowledge of the policy at the State Department and that Deputy 
Secretary Talbott is clearly not completely "in the loop.' Galbraith continued to obsess 
about the reprimand he received in May. He maintained that despite Neitzke's analysis he 
couldn't understand being called on the carpet. Neitzke agreed that the reprimand was 
difTicult to explain since Jenonne Walker had told Galbraith and Neitzke that Lake had 
cleared the policy with the PreskJenL Neitzke further commented that Charies Redman's 
"key" role in the Iranian arms issue was not widely recognized in Washington.^ 

By August 2, 1994. Neitzke's thinking on the Iranian Green Light events ai; 
implicatkjns thereof had evolved to a sense of dread. He sought information from th^' 
fl^lM^as to the terrorist threat to Americans citizens posed by the aftermath 
decisk5n. His disillusk>n with the frightening growth of Iranian presence in Croatia and the 
strange lack of appreciation for the consequences of the decision in Washington led him 
to seriously conskler sending a "dissent cable' on the issue."' He was, in many respects, 
a worried man. As events woukJ ha^e i y he w as not alone. He soon had plenty of 
company in Washington and abroa^ 

■n/Valk it Back" 

There is substantial evklence indk:ating that beginning within weeks. If not days, of 
Galbraith's response to PreskJent Tudjman US government officials began to have second 
thoughts about the decision to signal a green light to the Iranian arms shipments. Other 
officials, unaware of Galbraith's response or that the US had been consulted on the issue, 


noticed the flow of Iranian aims and personnel, and were ready to shut it down. Between 
early May 1994 and the effective date of the Nunn-Mitchell legislation in November 1994. 
the Administration had several opportunities to halt or mitigate the Iranian arms flow and 
failed to take advantage of them. By September 1994, some leaders of the Bosnian 
Muslims, the very people that the Clinton Administration hoped to assist through the Iranian 
arms pipeline, asked US officials to find a way to arm them that dW not involve the Iranians. 
The Administration dkj nothing, though, to staunch the growth of Iranian influence. 

Information regarding the Iranian arms shipments and the consequences of those 
shipments was frequently included in the Secretary's Moming Summary prepared by the 
Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis (INR) at the Department of State. When the pipeline 
opened, the Moming Summary for May 14, 1994 commented that. "Though there seems 
little doubt that regular arms-supply flights to Croatia are under way. it is not clear how long 
they can be kept from becoming public knowledge or prompting reacti on from th e 
international community.""^ 

^____^__^__^_^^_ JOn the eve of an important Principals Meeting on May 

), the Secretary's Moming Summary reported that: 

The Croatians are serving as hustling middlemen in a long-tenn arms-supply 
operation that gives Croatia a stake in the ongoing Bosnian conflict, 
encourages ctoser Croatian-Iranian ties, and provides an incentive to sneer 
at sanctions.^ 

Against this backdrop, a Principals' Meeting was conducted on or about May 20, 

^ Secretary's Moming Summary, May 14, 1994. 
*" Secretary's Moming Summary, May 19. 1994. 
»« Secretary's Moming Summary, May 20. 1994. 


1994. A "pre-brier meeting was held beforehand, attended by Secretary Christopher. 
Charles Redman, and Tom Donllon. Christopher expressed concern about the "winking 
and nodding" that had gone on (or was going on) regarding the flow of arms from Iran to 
Bosnia, and the participants discussed the pros and cons of the matter.^ The issue of the 
Iranian arms shipments to Croatia and Bosnia did come up at the Principals' Meeting. 
Some participants argued that the US should go to the Croatian government and tell them 
to stop the 'ranian shipments."' To the recollection of Anthony Lake, present at the 
meeting, no one discussed the "no instaictions' dedsion."* The contemporaneous notes 
of Jenonne Walker reflect that someone (the NSC has refused to disclose to the 
Sut)committee the person's identity) sakJ that the President knew that the arms flow was 
happening and that the US was not taking any position with respect to it.'™ Lake recalls 
informing the other participants that to take action on the Iranian arms shipments would 
require taking the issue to the President No one suggested that the matter be >•«>• Jewed 
with President Clinton.'^ 

As of May 24. 1994, the interest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in shutting down the 
Iranian arms flights was strong. Colonel Donakj K. Herrick, assigned to the NSC. reported 
to Jenonne Walker on that date that during a "Bosnia teleconference" the Joint Staff 
suggested that something be done about the Iranian arms flights taking place. He 
informed Walker that he told the Joint Chiefs that the US would probably not push the 
issue at the time.'*^ 

^ Notes of Pre-Brief Session for the Secretary of State Regarding the May 20, 
1994 PC Meeting on Bosnia, prepared by John Hannah and maintained by the NSC. 
The NSC refuses to permit the Select Subcommittee staff to view the aforementkaned 
document and others cited in this paragraph, and this cursory information was obtained 
from an oral *brief"g" by a low level NSC staffer to Chairman Hyde and Congressman 

**' Notes of Nancy Soderberg. May 20. 1994. maintained by NSC. 


*" Notes of Jenonne Walker. May 20. 1994. maintained at NSC (hereinafter 
Walker Notes). 

'*° Lake Int at 4; Walker Notes. 

**' Memo for Jenonne Walker from Don Kerrick. May 24. 1994. 


Great Britain was alarmed about the Iranian arms shipments in May 1994 and was 
willing to join the US in taking action to intercept or halt such shipments. The British 
concern with the Iranian arms deliveries was entirely reasonable, given the significant 
number of British soldiers on the ground in war-torn Bosnia as part of UNPROFOR.'*' The 
British were very interested in keeping even small arms from reaching the waning factions 
in Bosnia, as those weapons were the source of numerous British and French casualties.'^' 
An American sokJier serving with UNPROFOR. Lieutenant Colonel John Sray, shared the 
British alarm. As the S-2 (intelligence) officer assigned to UNPROFOR Commander 
General Michael Rose's staff. Colonel Sray was well placed to observe the effects of the 
Iranian anms pipeline in increasing the fighting.^ 

On May 27. 1994 the British embassy in Washington sent a letter to Secretaf 
Christopher, care of the F^ecutive Assistant to the Secretary of State. In that lettec 

_ _ _ _ _r/ She 

recounted the fact that before the Croatians agreed to allow the Iranian shipment several 

*** Select Subconmnfttee Deposition of LTC. John Sray. August 29, 1996. at 7. 


*** Letter from the British Embassy, to the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of 
State, May 27. 1994. 

** Information Memorandum, from INR Toby J. Gati. to Secretary Waoen 
Christopher. May 31. 1994. 


of their officials asked for the US reaction to the proposal, and observed that "the Croats 
surely now think we approved of the arms deal as long as it remained plausibly 

On June 3, 1994. James Bevan, the First Secretary at the British Embassy in 
Washington, also informed Colonel Kerrick of the NSC of Foreign Minister Hurd's intention 
to raise the issue of the Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia with Secretary Christopher. 
Bevan expressed concem because the British did not want to see Iran gain the influence 
arxj access in Bosnia which would create a hostile Muslim nation, and because the Iranian 
arms placed British soldiers in danger. Moreover, the British worried that the West and the 
US would lose credibility as far as enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions was 
concerned if the arms were allowed to flow. He alerted Kerrick to the fact that the British 
intended to ask the US to join with them in pressing Croatia to stop the shipment". 
Significantly, Bevan indicated that the British were willing to consider the lifting of the anms 
embargo (a lifting which the British has previously opposed) if the peace process was 
unsuccessful.^^ General Kerrick's memorandum reflects that it was intended to be passed 
on to Anthony Lake and Sandy Berger.'** 

The Select Subcommittee has been provkJed with no information regarding whether 
or not Secretary Christopher discussed tfSe Iranian arms flow with Foreign Secretary Hurd. 
K can be inferred from subsequent events that the Clinton Administration was not candid 
with the British on this issue, as the British continued to press the United States to take 
actkin regarding the Iranian arms pipeline. In eariy July of 1994, Kerrick received a cable 
which emphasized the British fear' of "creeping fundamentalism' in Bosnia stemming from 
the Iranian influence. Kerrick passed this cable on to Vershbow, who had left the 
Department of State at the end of June 1994 and assumed Jenonne Walker's position at 
the NSC. Vershbow recalls taking no actk>n as to the British concerns and doesn't believe 
the British complained at a high enough level for the US to consider reacting to their 



*** Menwrandum from Don Kerrick regarding "British to raise Iranian arms 
shipments to Bosnia," June 3, 1994. 

"" Memorar>dum from Colonel Don Kerrick to Alexander Vershbow. July 6. 1994 
regarding 'Iran's arms in Bosnia*; Select Sut>committee Interview of Alexander 


In addition to the risks to intelligence activity, the Clinton Administrations efforts to 
keep the green light policy secret resulted in US government officials in the region, who 
had and overriding "need to know,' being kept ignorant The US Ambassador to Serbia 
was not infonried of the decision, nor vras the US Ambassador to Bosnia, the very country 
to which the arms were being funneled.^ Moreover, the US Ambassador to NATO was 

Vershbow. September 24. 1996. 

^ Select Subcommittee Depositk>n of Rudolf V. Perina, Aug. 26. 1996. at 6- 
Jackovich Dep. at 20-24. 


unaware of the Iranian Green Light, and was under the impression throughout 1994 that 
the US policy was to respect the UN arms embargo and expect other countries to do so 
as well.^ Given the potential for Serb retaliation against American interests or personnel 
If the Serbs regarded the US as co-belligerents with the Croatians or Bosnians, this 
secrecy, bom of fear of embarrassment or detection was reckless. 

Opportunities to "walk it back," that is. to dilute or eliminate Iranian influence 
continued to present themselves to US officials. The Croatians and the Bosnians both 
expressed concerns and reserva tjat^ about the do minant role played by the Iranians as 
the main supplier Qf weaponry^AgpBH '~ 

In August of 1994, General Wesley Clark visited Bosnia on behalf of the US Joint 
Chiefe of Staff to determine Bosnian military needs if the UN arms embargo were lifted. 
During the course of a series of discusskins with Bosnian offscials, General Claris met with 
Bosnian President Izetbegovic and Bosnian Prime Minister Silajdzic. Izetbegovic asked 
Clark whether the US would "covertly assist' the Bosnians by authorizing Slovenia to 
release two thousand tons of weaponry the Slovenians were detaining. General Clark 
stated that he would pass on the Bosnian request to his superiors. He did so, informing 
General Shalikashvilli. Shalikashvilli directed General Clartt to take the matter to Deputy 
National Security Advisor Berger at the White House. General Clark met wrtth Berger 
persor^jly and put nothing in writing about the request. Although General Claric was never 
specifically advised of the US response, he later saw a letter from Sven Alkalai, the 
Bosnian Ambassador to the Unit^ States whkii led him to believe that the US had denied 

Hunter Dep. at 5-8. 



the Bosnian request.** Berger, when questioned by the Select Subcommittee staff 
regarding the Bosnian request for Slovenian arms, had no recollection of the request or Ks 
ultimate disposition.*" 

Bosnian and Croatian interest in obtaining weapons from sources other than Iran 
and stemming the growth of Iranian influence in the region continued into the fall of 1994. 
According to Ambassador Galbratth, Defense Minister Susak infomed him at lunch on 
September 5. 1994 that he preferred a covert program for providing arms to Croatia and 
Bosnia to a lifting of the UN arms embargo. Moreover, Susak contended that he knew of 
other countries that were willing to help if the US would provide "a signal." Galbraith claims 
to have pointed out that the US could neither violate the arms embargo nor actively 
cooperate in its violation. At the same time he believed Susak understood the US would 
not actively stop others from violating it.*' 

Richard Holbrooke became the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs in 
September of 1994. A firm believer in taking action, he plunged into the nx>rass of Balkan 
politics with a vengeance. During an earty fact-finding trip to Croatia, he teamed of the 
Iranian green light inckJent from Ambassador Galbraith.** Holbrooke, in his previous 
position as Ambassador to Germany, had been aware that Iranian and other arms were 
fk)wing into Croatia and Bosnia, so he asked Galbraith what the US knew and was doing 
about it. Galbraith toW Holbrooke that in April of 1994 that either Tudjman or Susak 
(Holbrooke's present memory is uncertain) called him in and told him Iran wanted to ship 
arms through Croatia to the Bosnians and asked wrtiat US policy was on this issue. 
Galbraith said he had called the White House (Holbnx)ke understood him to say that he 
had talked with Tony Lake), and was told to say he had no instmctions. no position. 
Galbraith sakJ he dkl exactly that and that someone at the NSC told him not to report back 
by normal channels.*' 

After hearing Galbraith's account, Holbrooke was highly concemed about the role 

*• Claris Dep. at 28-34. 
**• Berger Int at 3. 

^ Galbraith Memcon for September 5, 1994, from the "Record' maintained by 
Peter Galbraith. 

** Holbrooke Dep. at 6-13. 



of Iran in Bosnia and the Balkans. TTiis reniained the case through the time of negotiating 
the Dayton Accords when he was adamant in seeking assurances that the Iranians would 
be required to leave Bosnia.^ 

To Holbrooke's credit he began working on kieas to eliminate or dilute the Iranian 
dominance of the arms fk)w to Bosnia in September 1994. Bosnian Prime Minister 
Silajdzic, for all his earlier willingness to accept arms from any country that would provide 
them, had changed his tune by the fell of 1994. According to Holbrooke, Silajdzic made 
a point of telling American policy-nekers at every opportunity that the Iranian anms pipeline 
was a "very risky thing because it woukJ increase Iranian influence."** In September of 
1994, Holbrooke met with Silajdzk; in New York City where Silaj dzjp fl oated a plan that 
would diminish the Bosnian Government's deperxjence on \r^n.^i 

slbrooke liked the kJea and supported it. in no small 
measure because it reduced the Bosnians dependency on Iran. Holbrooke discussed it 
with Secretary Chris^pt]^r, who Holbrooke believes, Christopher obtained a legal opinion 
on the proposal.*^-' 

A few days following the meeting in New York, Silajdzic met in Washington with 
Holbrooke, and Lake. Holbrooke believes that Lake heard part, but not all, of Silajdzic's 
proposal before Lake was called out to a meeting with President Clinton. The proposal 
went nowhere in Washington and despite Holbrooke's advocacy, it was rejected for policy 
rather than legal reasons.^ 

The Bosnians remained interested in alternatives to the Iranian arms pipeline even 
after Novemt)er 1994 aruJ the Nunn-Mitchell Amendment. Ambassador Galbraith's 
assistance was sought on Novemt>er 23, 1994 in yet another effort to secure the release 
of Bosnian-bound weapons that had been seized by the Slovenes. Although asked to 

"* Id. at 50. 
»* Id. at 51. 
*• Id. 41-45. 


intervene with the Slovenes, Galbraith said nothing to the Bosnians, noting in his memoirs 
that "any comment would be seen as us working to undermine the embargo' and could 
jeopardize the way in which the Bosnians received "real quantities" of weaponry, 
presumably from the Iranians.** 

As 1994 was coming to a dose, the Iranian arms pipeline continued to flow, and 
Iranian influence continued to incr ease. A disillusioned Prime Min iste*- Silajdzic dined with 
Galbraith on December 16, 1994. 

^As Holbrooke never tokJ Silajdzic that his proposal for reducing Iranian influence 
had been rejected by the Administration, Silajdzic was unaware that his lunch partner on 
that December day.was truly far more to blame for Iran's mnning arrwk in Bosnia than was 
Holbrooke."' ' 

** Memcon of Peter Galbraith, November 23, 1994, from the 'Record* 
maintained by Peter Galbraith. 

"• Memcon of Peter Galbraith. December 16, 1994, from the "Record" 
maintained by Peter Galbraith. 

''' Holbrooke Dep. at 44. 




Assistance to Arms Convoy 

Among the issues which the Select Subcommittee examined in the course of its 
investigation was the question of whether or not US officials knowingly assisted the 
passage of convoys containing weapons from Croatia to Bosnia in violation of the UN amns 
embargo. Press reports had identified one specific allegation of such assistance, 
purportedly involving intervention by US Special Envoy Charles Redman to secure the 
release of a convoy containing Iranian weapons detained by the Croatians on or about May 
13. 1994/ Information developed in several depositions, the interview of Anthony 
Harrington of the President's intelligence Oversight Board, and from relevant written 
records, allowed the Subcommittee to determine the facts as follows. 

US officials at the embassy in Zagreb were actively involved in efforts to expedite 
and facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid to the Bosnian Muslims from Croatia 
throughout 1993 and 1994.* In 1994, although many of the gsp voys traveling from Croatia 
to Bosnia legitimately carried nothing but humanitarian aid j 

* Risen and McManus. US Envoy May Have Aided Arms Cnnvny to Bosnia , Los 
Angeles Times. Apr. 17, 1996. at A1. 

' Select Subcommittee Deposition of Ron Neitzke. Aug. 7. 1996. at 126-128 
(hereinafter "Neitzke Dep.*): Select Subcommittee DepositkMi of Peter Galbraith. Aug. 
19. 1996, at 69-70. 74-78 (heieinafter -Galbraith Dep."). 


f Ambassador 

Turkovic attempted to convince the US Ambassador to Bosnia, Victor JacKo^ich. to join her 
in the convoy. Ambassador Jackovich declined the invitation, determining that it was^n 
oddrequestand also a matter occurring outside his jurisdiction as Ambassador/^ 

On May 13. 1994, Turkovic placed a telephone call to Ambassador Galbraith, 
seeking his assistance in getting the Croatians to release the convoy.' Galbraith ga^e her 
a noncommittal response t}ecause he believed that the convoy contained weaponry and 
he did not want to be involved in fecilitating its passage.'" Galbraith's belief that the 
convoy contained arms was based either upon conversations he had with news reporters 
or upon intelligence information." 

Unsuccessful in obtaining Galbraith's assistance. Turkovic called Special Envoy 
Redman for his help. He was, at the time, in Vienna negotiating with Bosnian and Croatian 
officials regarding vartous issues. Redman often intervened in order to help relief convoys 
cross the border, but when questioned during the investigation regarding the Turkovic 

' Select Subcommittee Depositton of Victor Jackovich, Aug. 20. 1996, at 57-61. 

* Sel^Suboommittee D^DOsition ofJaHHII^Aug. 9. 1996. at 65-66 

"> Galbraith Oep. at 69-72. 
" Id. at 74-78. 


convoy he had no r^y llection of assisting in securing its release.'* According tc 
^(^■■■■Mi^Htraveling with Redman at the time, the detained convoy was a 
sticking point in the negotiations between the Muslia^aod the Croatians. Redman acted 
as if he were interested in resolving th e^isput g, buJ^Bv^as no firsthand knowledge that 
Redman acted to free the convoy.'^ ftflj^owever. had no knowledge tji^t^eapons 
were in the convoy, nor any indicatron thaTRedman had such knowledg^^sS^^ 

The Turkovic convoy was released by the Croatians and the circumstantial, but 
logical corKJuskw i^that the release wa^ e result of intercessnn by Redman.'* Although 
Galbraith and thqflBIMII^^IHHMcieariy had suspicions that armgJ^ere probably 

in the Turkovk: convoy, there is no eViclehce to suggest t t)qt Redman oi/Swi^ ad such 
suspicions. In fact, while the convoy was detained, the^^MW ^BE Bi<rnof contact 
Ctfifito inform her of the convoy's suspicious content.'^ The Select Subcommittee also 

eh^untered no proof that Galbrait h infon Qed Redman of his knowledge or suspicion thjt 

arms were contained in the convo^^S^^^ 

Apparently. Redman unkrK}wingly intervened in a transaction which violated the UN 
arms embargo. His intervention was not atypk:al, however, because Clinton Administratk)n 
ofTicials regularly intervened to facilitate the passage of convoys to Bosnia which they 
believed contained humanitarian akj without consistently making efforts to ascertain 
whether those convoys also contained weaponry. Hence, after May 1 , 1994, US offidals 
may have routinely (albeit unwittingly) facilitated the Iranian arms flow to Bosnia." 

issile Episode 

During the course of the investigation of the evolution and implementation of the 
Qinton Administratk>n's Iranian green light policy, the Select Subcommittee examined in 
detail a trout)ling inckjent in 1995 which casts doubt on the Administration's contentions 

" Select Subcommittee Deposition of Charles E. Redman, Aug. 27. 1996, at 64- 
70 (hereinafter *Redman Dep.*). 

" Select Subcommittee Interview oJjI^HMf Aug. 21 . 1996, at f! 

^ The same condusk>n was reached by the lOB. See Chapter 7. 

'g^l^^Dep. at 68-71. 

^* Neitzke Dep. at 126-128; Redman Dep. at 64-70; Select Subcommittee 
Deposition of Tom Mittnacht. Aug. 14. 1996, at 8-11. 42-44. 55-60. 


that the "no instructions" instruction involved nothing more than a failure to object to 
violations of the UN arms embargo. The incident suggests that in this instance, and 
perhaps in others as w/ell, Ambassador Galbraith may have gone beyond standing mute 
in the face of embargo violations, and may have actually secretly played a direct role in 
violating the embargo. 

In September 1995, Croatian officials intercepted six crates oigl^g/nvssWes from 
Iran that, after being dropped off by an unmarked airplane that was said to carry only 
humanitarian aid, were en route to Bosnia across Croatian territory." The land-to-land 
missiles earned one warhead each (but not, it was later learned, chemical weapons), and 
were designed to be fired from a stand-alone missile launcher.'* The weaponry, like the 
aircraft that delivered it, did not bear any markings that wouldsjdentify their source, but that 
type of missile is known to be of Iranian manufacture.'^fj^^ 

Croatian officials informed US officials of the suspicious missiles' capture and 
requested guidance from the United States."* In particular, the Croatians were concerned 
that the missiles might carry chemical wea pons. US officials inspected the arms, which 
were being detained at Pula/ 

Dep. at 100-104. 

'* Select Subcommittee Deposition of Lt. Colonel John Robert Sadler, August 
21. 1996. at 15 (hereinafter "Sadler Dep."). 


Dep. at 102. 
» Sadler Dep. at 26-27. 
^iPMiDep. at 102, 1057 



This much is certain. What is less clear is. among other things, why the Croatians. 
knowing that the United States did not "want to t}e in a position of saying no' as to arms 
shipments to the Bosnian Muslims from other nations,^' sought US guidance in the first 
place, and why the Croatian government ultimately decided to release the shipment of 
missiles. On these important matters, the testimony of the US officials involved is in 

According to General Wesley Clark, who was serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
as Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, the interception of the missiles was brought to 
the attention of the US in a meeting in Zagreb between Croatian President Tudjman and 
Special Envoy Holbrooke.* At that meeting. Foreign Minister Susak informed Holbrooke 
that the Iranian weapons had t)een captured and were being detained by the Croatian 
government. Susak asked Holbrooke to send a team of US experts to inspect the missiles. 
Holbrooke tasked Clark, w/ho wab in attendance at the meeting, with handling the matter. 
Clark, in turn, asked Lieutenant Colonel John Sadler, the Defense Attache for the US 
Embassy in Zagreb, to examine the missiles, at which point Clark's involvement ended. 
Clark stated that the only purpose for the Croatian request was to determine whether or 
not the missiles were carryir>g chemical weapons, and specifically denied that Susak was 
asking the United States whether or not the government should allow the missiles to 

Clark's testimony as to the purpose of the Croatian request was contradij; 

Sadler. Sadler indicated that Susak contacted Ambassador Galbrarth about the 

missiles and asked Galbraith to have the missiles investigated.^' Galbraith told Sadler to 
examine the missiles. Sadler complied and reported his findings to the Department of 
Defense for analysis.* V^en the expgrt s were unable to klentify the missiles based on 
Sadler's description. th^P^fimH^Hasked Sadler to make a second trip to Pula, this 

'* Galbraith Dep. at 39 (attributing this statement to Special Envoy Charles 

^ Select Subcommittee Deposition of General Wesley Clark. Sept. 4. 1 996, 
at 50-51. 

" Id. at 53. 

" Sadler Dep. at 26-27. 

"id. at 12-16. 


time with aflHP&eapons expert Galbraith approved the secorxl inspection, and it was 
conducted sb^ays after the initial examination. The results of the secopd. examination 
were forwarded to the Department of Defense a couple of days iater^ 

I six day 

Later in the nwnth of Septemt>er, during a meeting with Sadler, Susaic asked 
questions about the missile shipment that suggests that the Croatians were holding the 
missiles pending instructions from the US as to what to do with them. Sadler testified that 
Susak said. 'I'm getting a lot of pressure from the Bosnians to let these missiles into the 
country, into Bosnia.** Susak then pointedly asked. "What should I <I6?" Sadler 
responded that he could not comment on that issue. 

Ambassador Galbraith gave a similar account He stated that although Susak was 
concerned that the missiles might contain chemical weapons, he was asking more of the 
United States than simply to determine Vno nature of the missiles. Galbraith understood 
that Susak was asking the US government for permisston to let the convoy of missiles 
proceed into Bosnia." Consistent with the green light policy he had championed to his 
superiors, Galbraith testified that the amis shipment "was a Croatian and Bosnian 
operatton' and "wasn't one for us to monitor or control."* 

* Id. at 17-23. 

" Sadler Dep. at 27. 

« Id. 

Galbraith Dep. at 75. 

" Id. at 76. 

••^"^■■^Oep. at 108. 


These facts, taken as a whole, suggest that Ambassador Galbraith was doing more 
than simply saying he had 'no Instnjctions' concerning Iranian arms shipments through 
Croatia in violation of the Bosnian arms embargo. The picture that emerges, instead, is 
that Galbraith may have played an active role in managing and controlling the 
transshipment of amis. The CroaUan government was formally instnjcted two years earlier, 
in April 1994, that the US did not "want to t>e in a position of saying no" to such arms 
shipments.^' During the two years that had since elapsed, Iranian arms had steadily 
poured across Croatia and into Bosnia, without any protest by the Administration. 

In light of these facts, it is somewhat surprising that Croatian cfficials asked the US 
government in the fail of 1995 whether they should permit the missiles to continue into 
Bosnia. If Galbraith is to be believed, they shoukJ have known that the answer they would 
have gotten would have been "I have no instructkins. pay attention to wtiat I'm not saying' 
- that is, a "wink and a nod.' - and the Croatians would be left to decide for them^elvei^ 
what to do. Of course, all agree that the Croatians were concerned that theqWWW 
missiles might carry chemkal weapons and that they wanted US weapons experts to see 
whether they had chemical capabilities. Even so. the dear preponderance of the evidence, 
including testimony from Galbraith himself, shows that tiie Croatians wanted more than 
simple advice on whether the missiles carried chemical weapons. What they ultimately 
wanted to kpow, as Susak asked Sadler, was what they should do with the Iranian 

TheMHM^BWtestimony provides a ready and plausible explanation for why. 

" Galbraith Dep. at 39 (attributing this statement to Special Envoy Charles 




after two years of the green light, the Croatians would ask the question: They were looking 
for US permission to turn back the missiles. Even though the Croatians were receiving a 
share of the arms transferred to Bosnia, it clearly was not in their self-interest to allow 
Bosnia to develop military capabilities that rivaled Croatia's. The Federation might not last 
forever, and the Croatians had good reason to think that they might someday be at war 
with Bosnia. The Croatians thus were reluctant to allow the sophisticated Iranian missiles 
to pass into Bosnia n hands. They ultimately did so, however, because "Galbraith told us 
to release" them.J|^5|*J^ 

Tudjman's statement that Galbraith had directed the release of the missiles was 
jnfirmed by a statement of Susak from the p revious year, which was memorialized in a 


clear suggestion was that US involvement consisted of more,th^ mere passive 
acquiescence in the release of thej^HMyriissiles into Bosniaf^ 

There is additksnal evidence supporting the inference that Galbraith did more than 
simply manage the fk>w of arms through the Iranian-Bosnia pipeline;jy^ould appear that 
he took affirmative steps to ensure that the pipeline remained open. 


I Galbrarth's response was not that it was for Croatia to decide for itself whether 
to accept ftjrther transshipments of Iranian arms. To the contrary, his response was that 
Croatia could not shut dow rithe pipe line to which the Administration had given the green 


The Croatians. Galbrarth explained, "are 
on the hook for it," megQjng that they are commit ted to act as a conduit for Irania n arms 
shipments to Bosnia.*' i 

These facts, t^ken as a whole, suggest that, on these occasions, Galbraith may well 
have overstepped the tK>unds of the no instructions policy. Instead of remaining neutral 
in third-party violations of the arms embargo, albeit with the expectation that Croatia would 
transship arms, Galbraith apparently exerted pressure on Croatian officials to violate the 
embargo. To be sure, it is perhaps possible to reach a different factual conclusion, and 
there may be facts that are presently unknown which might support a conclusion other than 
the one the Subcommittee has reached. Nevertheless, based on the facts known to it. it 
is the conclusion of this Subcommittee that the totality of the evj^en^ suggests that 
G^lbt^^ may have played an active role in the release of th^^|K^missiles. The 
jj^pWgmissile episode also provkjes at least some reason to beltSve that, on other 
occasK>ns as well, Galbraith may have more or less actively managed the flow of Iranian 
arms and quashed any possibility that Croatia would shut down the Jr aaiarLa nns pipeline 
before Bosnia became totally co-opted - and corrupted - by Ir^ 

Tuzla Mystery Flights 

The Select Subcommittee encountered in the course of its investigatnn, allegattons 
in press accounts that United States military personnel and equipment participated in the 
delivery of weapons and supplies to Bosnian Muslim forces in the vicinity of Tuzla, Bosnia 
during February of 1995. According to newspaper stories. UN observers claimed to have 
observed C-130 military transport aircraft operating wrtiat they believed to be low-level 
parachute drops in the Tuzla area on Febmary 10, 12, 17, and 23 of 1995. News reports 
also indk:ated Danish and Norwegian troops serving with UNPROFOR in the area dainted 
to have "heard* C-130 aircraft, seen American mflitary weaponry and packaging, and been 
fired upon when they attempted to investigate the mysterious flights. In light of NATO 
denials that any such US or NATO flights were occurring, tensions devek)ped between the 


UN observers and NATO commanders on the issue." 

The Select Subcommittee has attempted to determine the accuracy of these stories 
and based upon the information made available, has concluded that there is no reliable 
evidence to support the contention that the US military and US intelligence agencies were 
involved in what have become colloquially known as the Tuzia Mystery Flights." The 
Department of Defense. National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency have 
all independently and exhaustively investigated the allegations. Having reviewed materials 
obtained from these agencies, the Select Subcommittee agrees with their conclusions that 
there is no evidence of US government involvement in the incidents. Deposition testinnony 
from other individuals who conducted investigations or inquiries regarding the matter have 
also supported the results of the aforementioned agency investigations.^ 

** Eagan, Invisible Anriy Gets Arms . Europeans Say , The Observer, Nov. 5. 
1995; Drozdial and Ottoway, US Helps Bosnian Army Get Arms. Europeans Say , 
Washington Post. July 28. 1995; Dowden. N ATO Angers UN in Bosnia Army Mystery , 
The Independent. Feb. 27. 1995; Wovldstream. Report: US Turns Blind Eye to Arms 
Drop in Bosnia . Associated Press, Oct. 30, 1995. 

^^_^_^Dep. at 54-60; Jackovich Dep. at 67-70jAMpfDep. at 64-69; Select 
Subcommittee Depositton of Richard Herrick. August 20rt9S6, at 64-65. 





Any discussion of the legal constraints on the President's use of covert action must 
start with the realization that covert action is a legitimate instalment of foreign policy. 
Covert action, wisely conceived and judiciously executed, can aid the United States in the 
achievement of its legitimate foreign policy goals and objectives. It is occasionally an 
indispensable tod. the use of which can effectively advance US interests. Thus, we should 
not. and do not, start with the proposition that covert action is to be avoided at all costs or 
should be restricted in ways that make its employment impossible. 

At the same time, covert activities, by their very nature, must not be publicly 
disclosed, at least for some period of time. The planning and execution of these activities 
are not open for the public to see, to debate, to criticize, or to protest, as are most other 
governmental activities in this free society. For these and other reasons, the political 
processes that normally constrain and control exercises of governmental authority do not 
easily or effectively operate in this sphere. This lack of traditional political and legal 
oversight is compounded by the wide discretion the Executive Branch enjoys under US 
law in the foreign policy arena. This decision, coupled with diminished polKical 
accountability, leaves an overzealous administration with the ability to pursue (xslicies that 
are unwise or outright illegal. 

Against this backdrop, it is the purpose of this section to address one principal 
question: DkJ US ofHcials formulating or executing the green light decision violate any of 
the laws or circumvent any of the procedures established by Congress and the Executive 
Branch? In the event US laws were violated, the next question is what action, if any, ought 
to be taken. If there were no violatktns of law, we must still consider whether, in light of the 
facts as they have t>een uncovered through this investigation, cunent laws and procedures 
are adequate to provide sufficient oversight and control of covert activities. 

Overview of the Legal Regime Governing Covert Action 

A detailed history of ttie various laws and executive orders goveming covert actk)n 
is not essential to the purpose of this report and, in any event, is readily available 


elsewhere/ At the same time, to detemfiine whether the various actors in the green light 
affair have complied with both the letter and spirit of applicable laws, it is important to 
highlight the Congressional concerns that have generated the various legal and procedural 
restrictions over the years. 

A review of the legislative activities in this area reveals that Congress has been 
most concerned about three particular aspects of covert action. First^Congress has 
sought to ensure that covert action is not carried out by subordinate officials within the 
Executive Branch operating without adequate coordination among relevant agencies and 
officials and without supervision by the President and his most senior foreign policy and 
national security advisers. To eliminate such possibly renegade and generally highly ill- 
conceived operations. Congress, in cooperation with the Executive Branch, has taken 
steps to ensure that any possible covert action will be carefully considered at the highest 
levels of the Executive Branch. Congress has worked closely with the Executive Bran^^h 
to rationalize the functions and responsibilities of the different intelligence agencies, again 
for the purpose of ensuring a process of high-level review, analysis and advice to the 
President regarding any proposed covert activity, and to guarantee advance Presidential 
approval of any such activities. 

Second. Congress has t>een concerned about the appropriate bounds of such 
activities. In that regard, it has successfully solicited representations from successive 
Presidents that certain types of covert activities will not be undertaken as a general rule. 
The Executive Order generally restricting attempts to assassinate foreign leaders is an 
example of this kind of undertaking. Congress has also occasionally expressed its 
concems in this regard more through the legislative process, as. for example, 
when it prohibited the Executive Branch from using any federal monies to supply arms to 
the Contras. 

Third. Congress has also frequently wondered about the wisdom of proposed covert 
activities, especially how such activities relate to other stated foreign policy goals and 
objectives and how such activities advance the national interests of the United States. 

^ See, eug., Report of the Congresskinal Committees Investigating the iran- 
Contra Affair. H. Rept. 100-433; S. Rept No. 100-216, Nov. 13, 1987. at 457-479. 
Appendix A (Minority Report, Chapters 2-4); Treverton. Controlling Covert Action , in 
Controtling Intellig anrft, at 113-133 (Hastedt, ed.. 1991); Koh. The National Security 
Co nstitution: Sharing Power After the Iran-Contra Affair , at 57-64 (1990); Reisman & 
Baker. Re gulating Covert Action: Practices, Contexts, and Policies of Covert Coercion 
Abroad in Intematinn al and American Law , at 116-135 (1992). 


Accordingly. Congress has provided by statute that "[t]he President shall ensure that any 
finding approved pursuant to [the Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991] shall be 
reported to the intelligence conDmittees as soon as possible after such approval and before 
the initiation of the covert action authorized by the finding. . .,' except in certain cases.^ 
The statutory exception is rather broad and open ended, to allow the President adequate 
discretion to conduct foreign affairs within the scope of his constitutional powers. But, at 
the same time, the statute continues that in those cases in which the President does not 
give prior notice, he then 'shall fully inform the intelligence committees in timely fashion 
and shall provide a statement of the reasons for not giving prior notice."' Whatever may 
constitute "timely" notification, the congressional concem is clear Congress wants its 
leadership infomied about clandestine US adventures abnaad - before the fact, whenever 
possible, and shortly thereafter in the few remaining cases. Such notification permits a 
much more informed, candid dialogue between these two branches of government and 
significantly increases the ability of Congress to carry out effectively its constitutional 
responsibilities with respect to these activities. 

It is against this backdrop that we must examine the legal requirements in this area. 
Of particular relevance to the instant inquiry is a single broad inquiry: Did any of the 
individuals invoked in the green light affair engage in unauthorized "covert action?" Under 
current law. the President cannot authorize a covert action unless: (1 ) the President has 
made, in advance, a written finding that the action "is necessary to support identifiable 
foreign policy objectives of the United States and is important to the national security of the 
United States.* and (2) the President has notified Congress, if at all possible, in advance 
of the covert activity or. in exceptional cases, soon thereafter.* Of course, to determine 
whether there is covert action, we must examine the legal definition of "covert action." 

The current definition of covert action has not been arrived at easily. Interestingly. 
what is often thought to be the initial legislative authorization for broad-scale covert 
activities - the National Security Act of 1947 - does not even use the term "covert" in its 
relevant sections. Instead, the statute merely indicates that it shall be the duty of the 
'Agency, under the direction of the National Security Coundl ... (5) to perfbmi such other 
functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National 

* Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991. § 503(cX1). Public Law 102- 
88. Aug. 14. 1991. 105 Stat 443 (codified at 50 U.S.C. § 413b) (emphasis added). 

* 50 U.S.C. § 413b(cK3) (emphasis added). 


Security Council may from time to time direct."* The National Security Council directive 
issued in relation to the 1947 Act does refer to covert action in the course of assigning 
responsibility for coordinating and executing such activity, but provides no dear definition 
of the phrase.' 

Definitions did gradually begin to creep into official documents, however. For 
example, by 1976, Executive Order 11905 contained the following definition of 'special 
activities,* a then-convenient euphemism for covert action: 

Special activities in support of national foreign policy objectives means activities, 
other than the collection and production of intelligence and related support 
functions, designed to further official United States programs and policies atsroad 
which are planned and executed so that the role of the United States Government 
is not apparent or publicly acknowledged.^ 

Executive Order 12333, issued five years later by President Ronald Reagan, embellishes 
that definition by enumerating activities that are not to be considered special activities or 
covert action. These include "diplomatic activities," as well as the "collection and production 
of intelligence or related support functions."* 

The exclusion for traditional diplomatic activities is particularly relevant here because 
some of the participants in the green light affair claim to have done nothing nrwre than 
engage in the routine conduct of foreign diplonnacy. Routine diplomatic activities often 
occur under some cloak of confidentiality, if not secrecy. Indeed, one of the t)edrocks of 
foreign diplomacy is the belief, often vindicated in practice, that foreign government officials 
are often more candid than they might otherwise be when they can expect that their 
conversations with US govemment officials will be held in confidence. 

It was on precisely this point that in 1990 President Bush pocket vetoed the 
proposed Intelligence Authorization Act. Fiscal Year 1991 (S. 2834). In Section 602 of that 
proposed act. Congress attempted its first legislative definition of covert action. 

* National Security Act of 1947. as amended. 50 U.S.C. § 403 (1982). 
' National Security Council Directive 10/2, June 18. 1948. 

' Executive Order 11905. § 2(c). Feb.18. 1976. 

• Executive Order 12333. § 3.4(h). Dec. 4. 1981. 


Covert action was defined under the bill to include, among other things, any 
"request" by the US that a foreign government or a private citizen take action that would 
constitute "covert action" if performed by the United States.' The Joint Explanatory 
Statement which accompanied S. 2834 explained that the provision was designed, "to 
prevent the conduct of a covert action at the specific request of the United States that 
bypasses the requirement for Administration review. Presidential approval, and 
consultation with the intelligence committees."" 

In his MenrK>randum of Disapproval, the President indicated his belief that the 
provision "purports to regulate diplomacy by the President and other members of the 
Executive Branch by forbidding the expression of certain views to foreign governments and 
private citizens absent compliance with specified procedures."" He opined that this 
provision "could require, in most instances, prior reporting to the Congress of the intent to 
express those views." This was unacceptable, in his view, because: 

. . . the vagueness of this provision could seriously impair the effective 
conduct of our Nation's foreign relations. It is unclear exactly what sort of 
discussions with foreign governments would constitute a reportable "request" 
under this provision, and the very possibility of a broad construction of this 
term could have a chilling effect on the ability of our diplomats to conduct 
highly sensitive discussions concerning projects that are vital to our natbnal 
security. Furthermore, the mere existence of this provision could deter 
foreign govemments from discussing certain topics with the United States at 
all. Such a provision could result in frequent and divisive disputes on 
whether an activity is covered by the definition and whether individuals in the 
executive branch have complied with a statutory requirement/^ 

" The proposed legislation read, in pertinent parts, that any "request by any 
department. agerKry. or entity of the US to a foreign government or private citizen to 
corKJuct a covert action on behalf of the United States shall be deemed to be a covert 
action.' § 602(eKa). S. 2834. H. RepL 101-928. 101st Cong. (1990). 


*' MemorarxJum of Disapproval for the Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 
1991. Nov. 30. 1990. Public Papers of the Presidents of the US: George Bush 1990, 
Book II - July 1 to Dec. 31. 1990. at 1729. 

"Id. at 1729-30. 


As the President made dear in that sanie Menvjrandum, however, his disagreement 
with Congress was largely over the vagueness of the definition, not the substance of the 
provision. He went on to note: 

. . . [0]bjections to this provision should not be misinterpreted to mean that 
executive branch officials can somehow conduct activities otherwise 
prohibited by law or Executive order. Quite the contrary. It remains 
Administration policy that our intelligence services will not ask third parties 
to carry out activities that they are themselves forbidden to undertake under 
Executive Order No. 12333 on U.S. intelligence activities." 

To allay Congressional concerns, moreover, he explicitly indicated that he had "directed 
that the notice to the Congress of covert actions indicate whether a foreign govemment will 
participate significantly.' 

That the President and Congress were in basic agreement regarding prior policy 
and practice was also made dear by a letter to the President from the chairmen of both the 
Senate and the House intelligence committees, dated November 29. 1990. In the letter, 
they explained to the President that the provision was not intended as a departure from 
prior practice, but rather as an attempt to codify what they believed was a pre-existing 
mutual understanding regarding the requirements that might entail use of foreign 
governments and norv-govemmental entities to take covert adion on behalf of the US In 
that letter, the chairmen stated: 

Findings have never been required to authorize contads made by the 
Govemment to determine the feasibility of. and to plan for. a covert action 
prior to seeking the approval of the President. Indeed, it is not the intent of 
this provision to preclude the informal contacts and consultations which 
would be required prior to the United States officialiy requesting a third 
country or private citizen to undertake such activities on its t>ehalf. Only 
once R had been determined that such assistance was feasible and is made 
the subjed of an official request by the United States Govemment woukj the 
requirement for a finding and reporting to the intelligence committees come 
into play. That is, irxleed, consistent with the understandings that have long 
existed between the Administration and two committees.*^ 

"Id. at 1730. 

"* See Cong. Rec.. H.6161. July 31, 1991. 


Thus, both chairmen confirmed the intent of Congress merely to codify existing practice, 
not to create new standards or obligations. 

Subsequent negotiations did not bring the two sides any closer to agreement on 
appropriate language. As the House Report on the subsequent version of the Intelligence 
Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991 , noted: "Efforts to resolve the President's concem with 
the definKlon of covert action in S.2834, and related issues conceming the notification to 
Congress of covert actions, in a manner satisfactory to the Committee, were 
unsuccessful."" Accordingly, that part of the definition of covert action was dropped from 
the next version of the bill. 

Congress" expectation that it would continue to receive timely notification of any 
covert activity that the US government requested a third party to execute was in no way 
diminished by failure to include explicitly this requirement in the definition of covert action. 
After all. Congress had the President's explicit assurance in this regard." Congress was 
not content ro rely entirely on the good will of the President, however. Congress included 
in the new law a requirement that any time the US uses a third party to take covert action, 
the President must make a specific finding to that effect. The law also makes clear that 
no finding of the Preskjent could 'authorize any action that would violate the Constitution 
or any statute of the United States."" 

Under pre-existing understandings and dear Presidential representations nrade 
during the course of the legislative process, it is clear that some requests to foreign 
governments or third parties to undertake certain actions fall within the purview of the 
regulations on covert actions, while other discussions with foreign governments 
presunr^bly do not The trick, of course, is to decide which is which. At the extremes, it 
is easy to draw the line between traditk>nal diplomatic activities and covert action. If US 
government offk^ials are simply told that some government intends to take a certain action 
and the US has played, or plays in the future, absolutely no further role in the matter, it has 
not engaged in covert actbn. If, on the other hand, US govemment officials instigate, 
facilitate arKJ otherwise play a significant executory role in the action, even though it is 
carried out by entities other than the US government, their conduct approaches, if not 
crosses, the line into covert action. 

" H.RepL 102-37. 102d Cong.. 1st Sess.. Apr. 22. 1991, at 2-3. 
'• Cong. Rec., H 6161. July 31. 1991. 



Application of the Covert Action Law 

Successful delineation of this dividing line is no abstract matter in the case at hand 
because it is precisely the role of US Government officials in their discussions with foreign 
governments that is at issue. This is made all the more difficult because, on some cnjcial 
issues, the evidence in this case conflicts. Depending on the inferences one draws from 
the evidence, the role of US Government officials may draw closer to. or farther away from, 
the line. 

Some of the conduct in the Iranian green light matter clearly does not constitute 
covert action. Although Ambassador Galbraith may properly be criticized for being 
somewhat overzealous in his advocacy of the green light policy, and although he may be 
criticized for pushing the foreign policymal<ing apparatus to an unduly hurried and ill- 
considered conclusion, the formulation of the policy does not constitute covert action. 
Ambassadors are not expected to be mere passive conduits for flows of communications 
and information between foreign governments and domestic policymakers. It is perfectly 
legitimate for, and part of the traditional functions of, a diplomat to make recommendations 
anrong altemative courses of actkjn. His zeal in advocating giving Iran the green light does 
not detract from the legitimacy of his championing a particular cause within the corridors 
of the Executive Branch. Such conduct simply does not fall within the definition of covert 

Similariy, diplomatic efforts to implement the green light policy do not constitute 
covert action. Again, the traditional function of a diplomat comes into play. Diplomats 
traditionally have been responsible for communicating the policies of their governments to 
representatives of foreign nations, either on their own initiative or upon request from a 
foreign representative. Even tfiough the policy in this case was. as Ambassador Galbraith 
described it. to give "a wink and a nod" to Iranian arms transfers in violation of the UN arms 
erribargo.'* the fact that a communication of policy (as opposed to a request to take actk>n) 
might be intended or expected to produce action on the part of a third party does not 
subject the diplomat's activity to scrutiny under US covert action laws. Consequently, 
tellirtg Croatian officials that US officials had been given no instructions on whether to 
object to Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims does not constitute covert action. 

The Subcommittee's investigation dkJ. however, indude allegations that US officials 
had taken action in support of the Iranian arms pipeline that, in theory at least, could 
constitute covert action. The allegation is that in May 1994 Special Envoy Redman, at the 

'• Select Subcommittee Deposition of Peter Galbraith. Aug. 19. 1996. at 13. 


request of the Bosnian Ambassador to Croatia, pressured the Croatians into releasing a 
convoy that purportedly carried only humanitarian supplies but that, in actuality, carried 
some anx>unts of arms." We find that this activity could constitute covert action if Redman 
knew that the convoy contained arms, but we find no basis for believing that he had such 
knowledge. The second allegation of potential covert action was that US officials had air- 
lifted weapons and supplies to Bosnian Muslim forces in Tuzia, Bosnia in Febmary 1995." 
Like the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, the Subcommittee 
found no evidence that US officials had any involvement In the so-called TuzIa Mystery 
Flights.' On each of these allegations, we find no grounds for concluding that US officials 
engaged in any covert action. 

Unfortunately, we are constrained to reach a different conclusion on certain other 
allegations pertaining to Ambassador Galbraith, based on evidence revealed during this 
investigation. These allegations relate to the Nazeat missile shipment capt'jred by 
Croatian officials in September 1995.*' At the request of Croatian officials, US weapons 
experts analyzed the Iranian missiles to determine whether they earned chemical weapons. 
Those missiles were released by Croatia, and the Subcommittee's inquiry on this issue 
focused primarily on who authorized the missiles to be released. The totality of the 
available evidence suggests that it may have been Galbraith who instmcted the Croatians 
to release the missiles. 

^" See Chapter 9. 




Aug. 9. 1996, at 108 


/Galbraith argued that Susak and the rest of the 
Croatians were "on the hook" and, therefore, simply could not discontinue serving as a 
conduitforarms shiprnents fronn Iran to Bosnia.^' In Galbraith's view^j^|iflBiPIB 
^B^B — |»r it_ [\\as] the intent of [US] policy to facilitate the delivery of [Iranian arms 
to Bosnia]."'' 

Taken as a whole, these facts provide reason to believe that Galbraith may have 
engaged in an unauthorized covert action with respect to this shipment of missiles. To the 
extent he affirmatively and knowingly intervened in the shipment of arms to Bosnia, 
Galbraith may well have crossed the line from merely canying out the no instmctions policy 
and taken active part in a clear violation of the UN arms embargo. This conduct — 
managing the flow of arms - appears to exceed the bounds of traditional diplomatic 
activity, a phrase that, as a matter of plain meaning, does not exempt any and all cond'ict 
undertaken by a diplomat. If, as it seems, Galbraith funneled theffw^jynissiles into 
Bosnia, his conduct would appear to fulfill the definition of covert action. That is so 
because the shipment was done secretly, in a manner that saved the US role from being 
'apparent" or 'publicly acknowledged," and was intended to prop up the Bosnian 
government and military (thereby influencing "political, economic or military conditions 
abroad').* Such conduct would be lawful only upon a prior presidential finding and prompt 
notification of Congress, neither of which occurred hereJ^^Jv^^ 

In light of these conclusions, the Subcommittee is compelled to recommend to the 
House Intemational Relations Committee (HIRC) that this Report and the evidentiary 
materials amassed in the course of this investigation t>e referred to the House Permanent 
Select Committee on Intelligence for further investigation and action within that 
Committee's jurisdiction. 

Additional Concerns 

An Invitation to More Restrictions? 




* 50 U.S.C. § 413b(e). 


Even if they were lawful under covert action laws, the Administration's actions in the 
green light affair are inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation in the formation and 
execution of US policy that should exist, and has previously existed, between the Congress 
and the Executive Branch. Before the Administration gave Iran the green light. Congress 
had expressed strong concems both about the plight of the Bosnian Muslims and about 
the need to contain Iranian influence around the world. In taking steps that directly 
exacerbated both these legislative concems, it is inexcusable that the Administration not 
only failed to consult with Congress about its major shift in US policy, but affirmatively 
concealed its misguided green light policy through outright deception of the American 
people and their representatives in Congress. This was a matter that, either as a matter 
of law or as a matter of comity, clearly should have been promptly brought to the attention 
of Congress. 

It also appears that the green light policy occurred as a result of a complete 
breakdown of normal Executive Branch delik>erative processes. The policy was hastily 
adopted without adequate consideration of alternatives due to undocumented, behind-the- 
scenes machinations of senior diplomatic personnel, activities that circumvented the 
normal foreign policy decision making process. It, therefore, is open to serious question 
whether the President enjoyed the benefit of adequate reflection and consideration of this 
policy and its potential consequences by his senior foreign policy and national security 
personnel. It is precisely to avoid these kinds of problems in areas such as this, with such 
potentially explosive consequences, that well-defined processes and procedures have 
been worked out. Whether or not a legal line was crossed in the haphazard, if not 
reckless, manner in which the policy was implemented, the American people, to say the 
least, were not well served in this instance of gross foreign policy mismanagement. 

Finally, the wisdom of the Administration's procedures and processes is open to 
serious question. While it is dear that many in the Congress wanted more arms to flow to 
the Bosnian Muslims, the Administration repeatedly tokl Congress and the American publk: 
that the Administration coukJ not unilaterally arm the Muslims in the fece of the UN Security 
Courtdi arms embargo and oppositnn from US allies. To play at least some role in 
encouraging and facilitating, however oblk)ueiy. violations of precisely the standards of 
international law that the Administration declared itself bound to obey is an exercise in 
duplicity that, to say the least, cannot be expected to inspire confidence that the 
Administration is complying with the legal strictures that supposedly govern Administratnn 

Even more problematically in this case, the supplying country was known to be Iran. 
US policy to deny Iran the opportunity to expand its economic, military, and political 


influence in any way could not have been clearer. To find that the Administration was not 
only tolerating such expansions of Iran's pernicious influence, t)ut, at a minimum, "winking" 
and "nodding" assent, if not doing more, certainly must give Congress second thoughts 
atjout the extent to which the representations of this Administration can be relied upon by 

In addition to being ill-advised as a policy matter, the sum of the Administration's 
actions in this matter seem certain to invite Congress to consider whether more formal 
restrictions and procedures on the scope of Presidential discretion are warranted. History 
is a good guide in this respect. When Presidents, in the development and execution for 
F>olk::y, even policy related to America's foreign interests, treat Congress as the adversary, 
the usual result is ever-increasing restrictions on the procedures and processes by which 
that policy is formed and executed. An Administration that deals with congressional 
concerns in such a cavalier and dismissive way leaves Congress little choice but to 
consider enacting further limitations and restrictions on the discretion of the Executive 
Branch. Such limitations can be avoided only if Presidents effectively nrxsnitor their 
advisers and themselves engage congressk^nal leadership in an open and frank dialogue 
on issues that implicate our fundamental national security concems, such as the US policy 
to isolate Iran. 

Noncooperation in Congressional Investigative Functions 

It is worth noting that the problems mentioned above have been exacert>ated by the 
manner in which the Administration has obstructed congressional investigations of its 
green light policy. We have highlighted at various points in this report actions by the 
Administration that seem designed not to protect the integrity of the decision-making 
process or protect confidential communications between US and foreign government 
officials, but rather merely to discourage the revelation of emban-assing details about a 
foreign policy process gone amuck. Administration officials, at all levels, seemed less 
interested in serving the put>lic good than in thwarting it, especially with respect to 
Congress' attempt to fulfill its constitutksnally mandated oversight and investigating 
responsitMiities. Needless to say. such otjstructk^nist tactics by the Administration cannot 
be condoned. 




In the course of Ks investigation, the Select Sutxx)mmittee obtained testimony and 
information from numerous individuals regarding the matters under investigation. While 
recognizing that the recollections of witnesses to the same incidents or events may vary 
on occasion as a result of failure of memory, or differing perceptions, the Select 
Subcommittee encountered a number of troubling instances where testinrvsny or statements 
of witnesses was directly contradictory on important matters under investigation. Those 
contradictions, in some instances, raise the possibility that perjured testimony was provided 
by witnesses. 

The integrity of Congressional investigative authority is adversely affected by 
perjury, and Congress will encounter tremendous difficulty in carrying out its legislative 
mandate if false testirrx^ny or statements are permitted to obstruct the inquiry. As a result, 
the Select Subcommittee will set forth the principal instances of conflicting testimony in this 
chapter, with a view toward identifying with specificity, matters which require investigation 
by the United States Department of Justice or Independent Counsel. 

Conflicting Testimony as to the Content 
of the Instructions Given to Ambassador Galbraith 

A significant factual issue addressed by the Select Subcommittee in its investigation 
involved the determination as to what instnictions were conveyed to Ambassador Galbraith 
for use in his diplomatic response to Presid&nt Tudjman's question regarding the 
transshipment of Iranian arms. The sworn testimony of Ambassadors Galbraith and 
Charles Redman varies from the swom testimony of Deputy Secretary Strot)e Talbott. 
former Deputy Assistant Secretary Alexarxler Vershbow. arid Undersecretary Peter Tamoff 
and the unsworn statements of National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, Deputy National 
Security Advisor Samuel Berger, ar>d former National Security Council official Jenonne 
Walker on the subject of the content of Galbraith's instructtons. 

The conflict pertains to a material matter under investigation, and is not easily 
resolved in light of the fact that the NSC staff declined to provkle testimony under oath. 
The matter would t>e nrK>st appropriately addressed by refenxil to the US Department of 
Justice for further investigation. 


Conflicting Testimony and Evidence as to Whether Congress 
was Informed of the Administration's Iranian Green Light Decision 

In the course of its investigation the Select Subcommittee interviewed chaimien and 
ranking members of various congressional committees with an interest in the subject 
matter of the Iranian green light decision to determine whether such members were 
advised by the Administration of Ambassador Galbraith's exchange with President 
Tudjman and the Administration's decision to give the green light to Iranian arms 
shipments. With the exception of former Senator Dennis DeConcini, all Members of 
Congress who responded indicated that they were unaware of the Galbraith exchange or 
the green light. Moreover, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Ambassador 
Richard Holbrooke testified under oath that the Administration made a conscious decision 
not to inform Congress of these matters, and, hence, did not do so. As Senator 
DeConcini's statement to the Select Subcommittee staff are in conflict with both sworn 
testimony and the vast majority of information available to the Select Subcommittee, further 
investigation by the Department of Justice of the matter is necessary to determine if any 
laws have been violated. 

Conflicting Testimony and Evidence as to the Availability 
of the "Record" Maintained by Peter Galbraith 

Ambassador Galbraith made available to the Select Subcommittee, for its review, 
portions of the written "record* he maintains of his recollections and thoughts on the events 
of his ambassadorial tour. Charlotte Stottman. his former secretary (who typed the record 
from his dtetatron), and Ronald Neitzke. his former Deputy Chief of Misskjn (who frequently 
saw him dictating the record), have informed the Subcommittee staff that Galbraith began 
creating the record in 1993, shortly after his arrival in Croatia. Galbraith has testified that 
he dkl not begin to keep the record until November 1994. This conflict must be resolved 
through an investigatnn, so as to assure that the Select Subcommittee has been provided 
with access to all of the document maintained by Galbraith. The withholding of portions 
coukJ constitute offenses against both the Congress and the Department of State. 





The decision 'at the highest levels' of the Clinton Administration in April 1994 not 
to interpose ourselves between the Iranians and Croatians'^ removed the only effective 
external impediment to Iran's hopes to interject itself into the Bosnian conflict and gain its 
long-sought foothold in Europe. Before then, Iran had achieved limited success in 
ingratiating itself with the Bosnian government and almost no success in Croatia. With the 
US giving the green light, however, Iran has had an unprecedented opportunity to 
advance its influence in the region and develop a European-based infrastmcture - overt 
and covert - to spread further its radical political and religious message. As bad as the 
strategic implications are of nefaiious and hostile Iranian activities in Europe, Iran's 
success at co-opting the Bosnian political leadership and developing agents and 
mechanisms of political influence has also been a disaster for Bosnia itself. It has 
comjpted the Bosnian Muslim body politic to a degree that, as yet. is not well understood 
in the West. Moreover, it has immensely complicated, if not doomed, the process that was 
to have led to the developnnent of a multi-ethnic, secular Bosnia. 

The public statements of Administration officials paint exactly the opposite picture, 

• Ambassador Galbraith testified before the House International Relations 
Committee that the Iranian presence in Croatia after April 1994 increased 
•slightly, but not significantly."* In the same session, he stated that the 
Clinton Administration's green light policy 'contributed to peace and to the 
very significant reduction of the Iranian influence.'^ 

• Natural Security Advisor Anthony Lake advised the Subcommittee that the 

' MenK)randum to the File from Peter Galbraith. May 6. 1994 (hereinafter 
'Galbraith Memorandum*). 

' Hearing on US Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Bosnia and Crnatia Be fore the 
House Committee on Intpmatinnal Relations . 104th Cong. 151 (1996) (Testimony of 
Peter Galbraith). 

* Id. at 145. 


Iranian push in the Balkans preceded the green light. "We have no evidence 
after the 'no instructions' decision that there was a further significant build up 
of Iran in the area."* 

• Undersecretary of State Peter Tamoff characterized the April 1 994 decision 
as one that would allow "the possibility that Iranian influence or Iranian 
personnel might marginally increase.*^ 

• Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott assured the Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence that the issue in April 1994 was not "to open a 
door that had been closed to the Iranians. That door was already open."* 

Volumes of raw and finished intelligence product, reams of diplomatic cable traffic, 
and Department of State documentation show these statements to be, at best, uninformed. 
At worst, they are disingenuous. Moreover, with the passage of each day, the newspapers 
carry more and more information making it appear that the Administration's expectations 
for the success of the Dayton Peace Process were unrealistic and that the peace process 
is unraveling. As the peace process falters, the threat of resurgent Iranian influence in 
Bosnia — direct and through ideological surrogates — grows. 

The Bush Administration's Refusal 
to Open the Door to the Iranians 

What the Iranians accomplished on the watch of the Clinton State Department had 
been tried before, but was rebuffed by the US in 1992. 

* Select Suljcommittee Interview of Anthony Lake, SepL.26, 1996, at 4 
(hereinafter 'Lake InL"). 

' Hearing on US Policy on Bosnia Before the House Committee on International 
Relations . 104th Cong. 24 (1996) (Testimony of Peter Tamoff); Select Subcommittee 
Deposition of Peter Tamoff, SepL 13, 1996, at 21 (hereinafter Tamoff Dep."). In his 
deposition t>efore the Subcommittee, Tamoff expanded on this judgment, stating that 
*we had no evidence following the dedsnn in late April of 1994 that tfle Iranian military 
or the Iranian forces' preserKe had, as a result of that decision, increased significantiy.* 

' Hearing on US Actions Regarriing Iranian Arms Shipments Into Bosnia Before 
Senate Select Committee on Intelliqenre . 104th Cong. 57 (1996) (Testimony of Strobe 


In September 1992. almost two years before the Clinton Administration signaled 
its green light, the Iranians tried for the first time to set themselves up as the Bosnians' 
most important ally, using Croatia as the middleman. The UN-imposed arms embargo 
(UN Security Council Resolution 713). which passed in September 1991 , had achieved the 
unintended effect of giving the Bosnian Serbs a military advantage over the Muslims and 
Croatians. Despite a significant numerical advantage, the Muslim forces were left without 
a significant source of weaponry and supplies, whereas the Bosnian Serbs were able to 
get supplies from the neighboring Serts-dominated Yugoslav Arniy. The Iranians saw this 
as their opportunity. They could exploit the desperation of the Bosnian Muslims so as to 
become their main t>enefactor and buy influence and a friendly beachhead in Europe. The 
plan would, however, require the cooperation of the Croatian government because Croatia 
controlled the only safe land routes into Bosnia. 

The Bush Administration became aware of the Iranian scheme in August 1992 and 
put the Croatian govemment on notice that the US would find such an anangement highly 
objectionable. Thus, in Septemt>er when an Iranian 747 arrived at Zagreb airport, loaded 
v^h military equipment and mujahedin from Iran and other Muslim countries, the Croatian 
govemment notified the US and worked closely and cooperatively to bring the UN in, seize 
the weapons, and send the plane and its passengers back to Iran. This decisive action - 
this clear "red light" policy - stymied Iranian plans until the Clinton Administration flashed 
the green light in April 1994. In the meantime, the Iranians put their designs for a 
beachhead back on the shelf arKi contented themselves with small-scafe arms smuggling 
and the incremental expansion of its presence and influence in the region. 

Interestingly. Ambassador Galbraith has argued that the Bush Administration's 
demarche to the Croatian govemment to stop the establishment of the arms pipeline was 
a principal cause of the outbreak of the Croat-Muslim war in earty 1 993.' Based on that 
interpretation, he argued that the Clinton .Administration dkj not want in April 1994 to repeat 
this error of the past. The premise of the argument - that the seizure led to Croat-Muslim 
fighting - is highly questnnable. Ronald Neitzke, Ambassador Galbraith's deputy in 1994 
and the US Charge to Zagreb in 1992, when the first inckjent took place, disagrees with 
Galbraith's analysis and dk) so even when Galbraith was citing 'it in 1994 in an effort to 
convince Washington of the wisdom of giving the green fight ' JDiere is also no jitf eHigence 
Unking the demarche and the outbreak of hostilities in 1993. ^■HHBHHthe head 

' See, &.g.. Galbraith in Department of State Cable, Zagreb 1683. Apr. 27. 1994. 

* Select Subcommittee Deposition of Ronak) Neitzke, Aug. 7. 1996, at 36 
(hereinafter "Neitzke Dep.*). 


of the Interagency Balkans Task Force and the US Intelligence Community's senior 
analyst of the former Yugoslavia, forcefully dissents from Ambassador Galbraith's view. 
'I have not seen anything that would support that as a rationale for the start of that war. j 

The Iranian Green Light and the Growth of Iranian Influence 
and the Terrorist Threat in Croatia 

President Clinton's green light decision threw open the door of Croatia to the 
Iranians. After the Bush Administration's demarche of September 1992 and into early 
1994 the Iranian presence in Croatia was limited and its influence insignificant. It had a 
■rnodest"'" embassy and maintained a small but active intelligence presence. Relations 
with the Croatians were proper but by no means warm. The Croatians were suspicious of 
Iran's objectives in the region and were troubled by its efforts to radicalize the local Muslim 
population and the Bosnian Muslims wrth whom, for most of this period, the Croatiems were 

The green light decision changed the situation in late April 1994 when the US 
authorized Iran to use Croatia as its fonward staging area and depot in the arms supply 
line into Bosnia. 

Within days of the green light. Croatian Prime Minister Nikica Valentic made a 
highly publicized and friendly visit to Tehran. The US had known of this trip in advance, 
and it was cited as the basis for the urgency of Ambassador,. GalbraitK's cables to 
Washington seeking issuance of a green light instruction. In his message to Secretary 
Christopher on April 27, 1994. Ambassador Galbraith expressed concern that "if we frown 
on their [the Croatians] role in supplying the Muslims, this trip may be canceled."' The 
green light was given despite the US's often-stated and steadfastly defended policy of 
isolating Iran diplomatically, economically, and politically.'^ As a result. Valentic traveled 
to Tehran where the press reported his joint pronouncements of cooperation with Iranian 
President Rafsanjani and the successful negotiation of several wide-ranging bilateral 

" Select Subcommittee Intennew of CIA analysts. Aug. 21 . 1996. at 5 (hereinafter 
*CiA analysts InL'). 

" Neitzke Dep. at 57. 

" Department of State Cable, Zagreb 1683, Apr. 27, 1994. 

'^ See Chapter 4. 

economic agreements, j 

Additionally, the two countries set u. 
agenda for concluding three-way economic agreements including Bosnia 


'Apparently, the green 

light from the US was all they were waiting for. A few days lateCTranian Foreign Minister 
Ali Akbar Velayati reciprocated Valentic's visit by going to Zagreb. There, they agreed to 
expand areas of cooperation and. as reported i n Jlhep ress. consulted on establishing 
tripartite cooperation anangements with Bosnia!T^y^^|S!^JB^^ 

In subsequent years, the trade between Croatia and Iran would work sig ni ficantly 
to Iran' s advantage , pa rticularly be ca use of its hard currency p roblems 


The significance of the Zagret>-Tehran agreements in opening up the Balkans to 
Iran was not missed by political arx) intelligence analysts within the Department of State. 
The Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence arxj Research (INR), on May 1 , 1 994, just 
four days after the PreskJenf s green light decision, wrote that the agreements "will g'lve 

Department of State Cable. Zagreb 1683. Apr. 27. 1994. 


Iran a greater foothold in the former Yugoslavia."" Thirty days later, another State 
Department analysis concluded. 'Iran sees this as an opportunity to win converts for 
Islamic fundamentalism and establish a foothold for a base of operations in Europe.*^* And 
just two nxjnths after the green light decision, the Secretary of State's "Moming Summary" 
included the assessment that Croatian and Iranian bilateral relations had "retwunded" and 
noted, as an aside, that the Croatian foreign ministry believed the US "tacitly approves' 
of Croatia's role as a centerpiece of the Iranian pipeline. The Summary concluded that 
under the circumstances the "lure of close relations with Iran will be hard to resist."^' On 
the ground in Croatia, the effect was also clear. US Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke noted: 

In the summer of 1993 .... the Iranian presence in Zagreb had been 
extremely limited .... It grew rather dynamically in the aftermath of Croatia's 
agreeing to transship lots of arms to Bosnia in April [1994] such that by the 
late fall of '94 relations vere clearly t>ooming between Croatia and Iran. We 
had to drive by their Embassy all the time. We could see the antennas 
sprouting, nnore Mercedes plates, and from "inter sources we were aware 
that they were a great deal more active. They had more diplomats around 

This did not include Iranian flight crews. 
•passengers." and others who traveled in and out of Croatia as they were need^ " 

Considering the influx of IRGC into the Balkans, it is important to remember that the 

^' Department of State, Intelligence Research Bureau (INR), Secretary's Morning 
Summary . May 1 . 1994. 

^* information MenrK>randum from Toby T. Gati. Assistant Secretary of State, to 
Warren Christopher. Secretary of State. May 31 , 1994 . 

^* INR. Secretary's Moming Summary . June 22, 1994. 

^ Neitzke Dep. at 104. 




IRGC is much more than simply an elite fighting force. It is also Iran's "primary instrument 
in exporting its Islamic Revolution,' with contingents in Lebanon and Sudan. It also 
supports radical Islamic forces in Afghanistan, Algeria. Egypt, and in the West Bank and 
the Gaza Strip. Moreover, it has dose ties with several temsrist organizations, particularly 
and most noteworthy Hizballah, which it helped establish in the early 1980's." Similarly, 
in Croatia the IRGC was involved in all these activities, in addition to those of a traditional 
military nature. 

Iranian intelligence activities were also growing exponentially. In 1994, the Iranians 
began developing an intelligence network that soon spanned Croatia. In 1995, the Iranians 
built on this success and began developing another independent network of agents and 

The Croatians knew the dangers of dealing with a rogue state such as Iran. They 
had rK>t lost their fear that the Iranians wouM radicalize the neighboring Bosnian Muslims. 
There were, however, some 'reafpolitik* advantages to the Croatians' new bilateral ties. 
In additk}n to the commercial t>enefits descrit)ed above. Croatia received a commission of 
at least thirty (and in some cases fifty) percent of all Iranian arms being transshipped 
across its territory. Additk>na!ly. regnnal commarKiers and officials in parts of Croatia and 
in the Croat-held areas of Bosnia were in a positkin to demand further payments in arms 
and cash to fadlitate the fkiw. Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak, who controlled the 
military apparatus in Croatia, as well as in Herceg-Bosna. saw the most gain from this 

Inevitably, these beneficial aspects of this leiattonship influenced the Croatians and 
made it easy for them to overtook the dear dangers of dealing with Iran. The adual 
destabilizing consequences of the IraniarvCroatian relationship in the regk}n and its 
fadlitatnn of Iran's terrorist designs and capabilities - particutariy those directed against 
the US - are appalling. Unfortunately, it is entirely too easy to document these hannful 
consequences caused by the green light poficy. Two inddents - one from the summer of 
1993 and the other from the summer of 1995 - dramatically illustrate Iranian influence In 
Croatia which came at the cost of endangering the safety of US citizens in the regton and 
the US's ability to wortc with Croatia to counter Iran's terrorist designs. 

In the summer of 1993 - one year before the green light decision - based on 

" Alfred Prados. Julie Kim, and Kenneth Katzman. Bosnia-Hercegovina: Foreign 
Islamic Fighters fMujahideen') , Congressfonal Research Sennce Report. Jan. 29. 
1996, at 3. 


extremely fragmentary ir^ telligence info rmation about a terrorist threat,! 

The Croatian response was inimediate and totally responsive to 
US concerns over fResafety of its citizens. At the time the Iranian presence in Croatia 
was extremely limited, and the Croatians showed no concern about possibly harming 
bilateral relations with Iran by acting vigorously against the trrrrri't^ C^S^ 

A mere two years and a green light later, in the summer of 1995, the situation was 
very different. By that time, supporting the massive military assistance program that had 
been given the green light and enjoying the resultant privileged relationship it had with 
Croatia, the Iranian embassy in Zagreb had become its largest in Europe. For months 
(starting in the fall of 1994), the US had been gathering evidence of Iranian ten'orist 
planning agains^US officials presen ce in Zagreb. The indications were many and 

threat was so serious that the US embassy instituted more rigorous s ecuri ty measljrS 
evacuated individuals who were believed to be most at risk^^j^^^^^ 

At the strong urging of his Deputy Chief of Mission Ronald Neitzke, Ambassador 
Galbralth approved using the Embassy's various contacts within the Cnsatian govemment 
to urge that they act against the terrorists. These diplomatic efforts were fruitless, 
however, and the security situation continued to deteriorate. The Iranian terrorist activities 
soon accelerated to the point that the US embassy was certain a terrorist act was 
imminent. Accordingly, in April, while the Ambassador was traveling outside Croatia, 
Neitzke drafted a strongly worded message to Washington. In it he stated that the time of 
gentle pressure had passed, and he asked that Washington approve a demarche to the 
Croatian govemment to take immediate and decisive action to neutralize the terrorist 

In his message, Neitzke linked the threat of Iranian terrorism to the President's 

" The 1995 terrorist threat is docunoented in a large number of CIA and 
Department of State cables and reports made available to the Select Subcommittee. 
See also, Neitzke Dep. at 104-1 15. The most comprehensive putMic account can be 
found in Janrws Risen and Doyle McManus, Terrorist Risk to Americans In Croatia is 
Linked tn Iran, Los Angeles Times, May 21. 1996. 


green light policy and pointed out the diplomatic comer the US had painted itself into by 
giving the Croatians an "all clear" signal to cozy up to the Iranians. The message wan-ants 
quoting at length: 

Neitzke concluded his message by stating that the only other option available was to 
authorize an evacuation of American officials and their families. 

The message had its intended effect the Department of State approved the first 
of a series of strong demarches to the Croatians. Even then, the Croatians refused to 
expel the Iranians involved in the terrorist planning. Nonessential US offidais and their 
femilies were evacuated from Zagreb in early May due to Serbian missile attacks on the 
city. This resulted in the terrorists having a less target rich' environment and may have 
foilecTtheir plans for attack, partKulariy against the families of US officials. But even so, 
hostile Iranian activities - iriduding surveillance of Americans - continued at an alarming 

Department of State Cable, Zagreb 001608. Apr. 19, 1995 (emphasis added). 


pace into August when the US again issued a demarche. The Croatians responded that 
they were "not in favor" of the Iranians' activities but were "afraid that taking action would 
involve Iranian retribution against Croatia.'^' As this was happening, the Croatians 
continued to profit economically and militarily from their flowering relationship with Iran. 
The Iranians plotting the terrorist actions were never asked to leave Croatia and hostile 
activities continued. Fortunately, these actions have not culminated in a terrorist attack, but 
that option remains available to Iran when and if it believes the time is right to strike. 

Interestingly, the difference in the Croatian attitude between 1993 and 1995 was 
mirrored somewhat in the leadership of the US mission in Zagreb. In 1993, the US 
Embass/s action was unhesitating. In 1995, however, there was a difference of opinion 
within the US Embassy leadership conceming the will of the Iranians to engage in terrorist 
acts in Zagreb. Although he does rK)t questton Ambassador Galbraith's resolve to counter 
legitimate terrorist threats, Deputy Chief of Mission Neitzke has indicated that he and 
Galbraith had a recurring difference of opinion about the Iranian threat. Galbraith was of 
the t>elief "that K was not in Iran's strategic interest to sanction an attack against the United 
States.*^ Neitzke says he "Yound the logic of that Impeccable; with one exception: 
terrorists don't think like that; and terrorists hatch subplots or there are revenge killings or 
people are executed to embarrass somebody else, or Zagreb is a sideshow in the overall 
Iranian-U.S. terrorist relationship for any number of reasons." Neitzke particulariy did not 
find the kx:al strategic argument compelling when Iranians were targeting specific vehicles 
and apparently specific people.* Neitzke also was unconvinced by the Ambassador's 
argument that the US dare not tweak* the Iranians by asking the Croatians to move 
against their terrorists. In Neitzke's words, "What had we degenerated to if that was our 
point?* Similarty, Neitzke took exceptk>n to the reluctance he sensed in Washington to the 
taking of action that might save Arnerican lives out of fear that it could also tead to the 
interruption of the arms pipeline.* 

In retrospect, it is hard to hoM the Croatian government solely responsible for its 
reluctance to respond forcefully to the anti-US tert)rist threat in 1995. To be sure, Croatia's 
refusal to take action to prevent an imminent terrorist attack against American citizens 
within its borders is deplorable. Even so. however, this end result was foreseeable by the 
Administration when H debated the green fight policy. Nevertheless, the Administratkm 
accepted the known risk of increased terrorism and it decided *at the highest levels not to 

" Department of State Cable. Zagreb 3247, Aug. 25. 1995. 

^ Neitzke Dep. at 112. (This and the folk>wing quotes in this paragraph.) 


interpose ourselves between the Iranians and the Croatians."^' The Select Subcommittee 
finds it even more amazing that, even as the terrorist danger was making itself known on 
a daily basis in credible reports from Embassy employees, some Administration officials 
were inclined to question the threat or. worse, ignore it in order to keep the Iranian arms 
pipeline open. 

" Galbraith Memorandum. 




Even more than in Croatia, the US green light to the Iranian arms pipeline allowed 
Iran to fulfill its most ambitious designs in Bosnia - for Bosnia, not Croatia, was and 
remains the European centerpiece of Iranian hopes and plans for the future. The green 
light and other Clinton Administration decisions that denied or rejected the possibility of 
allowing other more moderate countries a role in aiding the Bosnian Muslims, in effect, 
gave the Iranians what amounted to an exclusive license to assist the Bosnian Muslims. 
Through that assistance, the Iranians successfully ingratiated and insinuated themselves 
with the political and military leadership of Bosnia to a degree that the US has been 
extremely hard pressed in its efforts to extricate them. The entrenched Iranian influence 
within Bosnia, particulariy its clandestine influence, is a serious challenge to US interests 
in the region and to the hopes of the Bosnian people for a peaceful, democratic, and 
Western-oriented future. 


_ je gravity of th e situa tio n was captured well in a Select Subco mmittee deposition ^ 
with i ~ 

There is no question that the policy of getting arms into Bosnia was of great 
assistance in allowing the Iranians to dig in and create good relations with 
the Bosnian Government And it is a thing we will live to regret, because 
when they l>low up some .Americans, as they no doubt will t)efore this 
goddamn thing is over, it will be in part because the Iranians were able to 
have the time and the contacts to establish themselves welt in Bosnia.' 

Before the Green Light 

Iran was quick to recognize that the ethnic strife in the former Yugoslavia - in 
particular, the tritnjiations of a beleaguered Muslim community - could give it an 
opportunity to entrerKh itself in a European nation. Iran was among the first nations to 
recognize Bosnia after it declared itself independent in March 1992. For a few months in 
the later half of 1992, Iran, along with several other Muslim states, was able to smuggle 
small amounts of weaponry to the Bosnian Muslims, sometimes by ad hoc arrangements 

' SelesI Subpommittee Qgcpsition ofJMSHHHBMIjAug. 15. 1996. at 29 
(hereinafter^ ^* 

ileci Subcommittee p^{x>sitio 


with Croat officials who would allow the weapons to pass through their territory for a ten 
to twenty five percent payment in kind. However, the Croatians closed down this small 
scale operation by February 1993 due to deteriorating Croat-Muslim relations and, once 
again, the Bosnians were for the most part left to their own devices.' The State 
Department in April 1993 characterized the Iranian contribution to the Bosnian war-effort 
as having been "relatively small."' 

In August 1992. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati. head of the radical Islamic Propagation 
Organization and newly named director of the Iranian "Bosnia-Herzegovina Support 
Headquarters' vigjted Bosnia as a personal representative o f th e Iranian s upreme leadej^ 
All Khamene'i. 

1^/ By April 1993 there were estimates that their 
numbers had reached up to 150 soldiers.' On the international front, in addition to 
numerous public statements of support to the Bosnian Muslims, Iran was instrumental in 
December 1992 in getting the Organization of the Islamic Qj^nference to pass a resolution 
calling for the lifting of the arms embargo on Bosnia^ ' 

Iran's support, even if more rhetorical and moral than substantive, did not go 
unappreciated by the Bosnian Muslim government, which was in desperate need of 
assistance. Neither were the Iranians hesitant to try to capitalize on this appreciation. 
Iran was already hard at work trying to insinuate itself into every element of Bosnian life 
through propaganda, the setting up and exploitation of clandestine intelligence 
mechanisms, and cultural and political overtures. In comparison with the heyday that 
followed the green light, however, Iran's ability to exploit the situation was limited. Iran did 
not, for example, even have an embassy in Bosnia. It was only after the US gave the 

' MenrK>randum from Ambassador PhDip Wilcox to Secretaiy WanBn Christopher, 
Apr. 8. 1993 (hereinafter 7/Viloox Memorandum'). 

' Wilcox Memorandum. 

' Kenneth Katzman. Julie Kim and Richard Best, Bosnia and Iranian Arms 
Shipments: Issues of US Policy and Involvement, Congressional Research Sennce 
(CRS) Report, Apr. 24. 1996. at 2 (hereinafter *Katzman et al.*). 


green light that Iran was able to develop a massive, multi-faceted program that would, on 
a public level, burnish its image as Bosnia's savior and, on a hidden level, give it political 
influence and the reach to build a formidable, well-entrenched clandestine capability to 
carry out its anti-Western designs. 

Deputy Secretary Talbott observed in a statement cited at the beginning of the 
previous chapter that the green light did not open the door to Bosnia for Iran. He is 
technically correct: what the green light did was to throw the door wider open and put out 
a welcome mat. 

After the Green Light 

Although the weapons provided after the green light via the Iranian pipeline did not 
turn the war around and probably dio little more than help the Muslims better defend 
themselves, there is no denying the magnitude of Ir an's effort in comparison with its 
marginal involvement in the war before April 1994. ^r~'~~ 

' DCI's Balkap T^k Force (BTF)^ 
May 24. 1996. at 2.< ' 

* Select Subcommittee Deposition of LTC John E. Sray, Aug. 29. 1996, at 63 
(Hereirufter 'Sray Dep."). 


With the weapons came an Iranian military assistance infrastnjcture, an expansion 
of the Iranian presence, and a commensurate expansion of Iranian activity and influence 

Within months the Iranian influence in the military was pervasive. Iranians were 
training, advising, and indoctrinating Muslim fighters in facilities throughout Bosnia. By 
1996 thousands of Bosnian military personnel, not including police and security forces, had 


gone through IRGC training courses in Bosnia 

[Also, as in Croatia, the IRGC continued to cany out 
its *other duties" in trying to export the U-aniao revolution and support terrorist 
organizations, including '^'2'33l'3l^-''^MP9HHpVliK 

Iranian intelligence activities also increased exponentially. The Ministry of 
Intelligence and Security (MOIS) expanded its assistance, training, and cooperation with 
the Bosnian intelligence service, and - niore ominously - it accelerated its clandestine 
efforts not known even to the Bosnians. Specifically, Iran moved quickly recruiting well- 
placed agents of influence and setting up secret networks throughout Bosnia. The MOIS 
also, like the IRGC, worked closely with Hizballah elements in the region and sought to 
organize small groups of Bosnians who could form native Bosnian Hizballah-type cells 
ultimately loyal to Tehran. The Iranian intelligence service was also working to recruit 
individual Bosnians to act as its future terrorists.'^' 

On the political and diptomatk: level the Iranians were also much more active in the 
months following the green light, although they did not advertise all their activities to the 
West Within ten days of the green light, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati made 
a highly publicized visit to Sarajevo where he presented Bosnian President Izetbegovic 
with a check for one million dollars, and promised to deliver 10,000 tons of diesel fuel. 
President lzett)egovic profusely thanked Velayati by saying "While we cannot tell all the 
details now. we must understand that our fight for freedom . . . would be less successful 

''* Alfred Prados. Julie Kim, and Kenneth Katzman. Bosnia-Hercegovina: Foreig n 
<uj ahideen') . CRS Report. Jan. 29. 1996, at 3 (hereinafter 'Prados et 



without Iran and its aid.'" 

Also within ten days of the green light. Iran appointed its first ambassador to Bosnia, 
Mohammed Taherian. Taherian's main responsibility was to manage the Iranian program 
of aid to cultivate, wield and influence on behalf of Tehran. Taherian was eminently 
qualified for the task by his experiences as Iran's ambassador to Afghanistan in the 1980s, 
where he proved himself adept at funneling aid to the Afghan Shiite mujahedin}* The 
Iranian embassy quickly became the largest in Sarajevo. For instance, the street on which 
their diplomats lived was blocked off by the Bosnian police, and even UNPROFOR forces, 
who were supposed to be able to travel freely on their peace-keeping mission, were not 
allowed to get close enough to observe the Iranians' comings and goings.^ The embassy 
conducted aggressive activities to popularize radical Iranian political and Shi'a religious 
thought. This public diplomacy complemented Iran's inauguration on May 10 of pro- 
Iranian, anti-Western propaganda radio broadcasts in the region in Serbo-Croatian. 

With the backing of Iran and the green light from the Clinton Administration, the 
Bosnian government increasingly t>ecame more fundamentalist in its orientation. This 
occurred even though the Bosnian people are largely secular. The government installed 
loudspeakers on street comers to broadcast the call to prayer in the mosques. Foreign 
mujahedin and Bosnian fundamentalists coerced Bosnian Muslims to be more strict in 
observing 'proper' Islamic customs. That summer, for example, Bosnian women wearing 
bathing suits were beaten and some were even shot for their perceived immodesty. ^■ 

iais appear to have made 

" John Pomfret. Iran Ships Explosives to Bosnian Muslims , Washington Post. 
May 13. 1994. at 1 . (The Velayati quote, including the ellipsis. Is given as cited in the 
original article.) 

^ Katzman et al.. sufHa note 6 at 2. 

^ John E. Sray. LTC. Sellin g the BQsnian M yth to America: Buyer Beware , 
United States Army Foreign Military Studies Office, Oct. 1995. at 6. 

" Sray Dep. at 48. 


In 1995 the Iranians would consolidate and expand their influence and activities 
throughout Bosnia and Bosnian society. The IRGC presence remained in the range of 
400 personnel in country. The mujahedin presence was, by the end of the year. 1000 or 
niore. A UN source estimated 1,000 in October, various press accounts in December 
placed the number between 2.000 and 4.000; and the Washington Post on December 9 
reported UN figures of 1 ,500 foreign mujahedin and 1 ,500 Bosnian recruits." Although the 
mujahedin are not necessarily urtder the direct control of Iran, they share Iran's fanatical 
anti-Western beliefs and, consequently, appear to act as tactical allies on the ground in 

Iranian intelligence and terrorist related activities were particulariy noteworthy in 
1995. The MOIS developed an extraordinarily dose woridng relationship v^ the Bosnian 
intelligence service which it largely set up. In addition to training, the Iranians provided 
operational direction aQdLfinanci al support This assistance was repaid by Bosnian 
assistance to the MOIS.i 

By eaij^1996, the Iranians would have som e sort of ' special' relations witi 
nior Bosnian officials an<f^| 

Prados et al., supia note 21 aft 3. 

** Department of State. Intelligence arnf Research Bureau ONR), jran/Bosnia! 

Frfenri In hlt>^ July 22. 1995. 

" Memorandum from Daniel C. Kurzer. Acting Director of INR. to Acting 
Secretary. Aug. 30. 1995. 



[Even though senior Bosnian government officials, such as 

Prime Ministerflaris Snajdzic, were becoming increasingly distressed at Iran's burgeoning 
influence, the prevaBing sentiment was U)^t the Iranians had demonstrated themselves to 
be the Bosnia's only "true friends.""'^' 

While the long-term effects of Iran's pervasive influence throughout Bosnia will not 
nfuinifest themseh/es for some time, the Iranian presence clearly does not bode well for the 
US. Based on past experience. Iran can be expected to continue to target US citizens and 
installations for terrorist attacks. Iran's continued efforts to radicalize the govemment and 
people of Bosnia and to turn them against the US and the West will drive a wedge between 
the free worid and Bosnia. As for Iran itself, the new economic ties with Bosnia will bring 
Tehran much-needed foreign capital, undermining the effectiveness of US and UN 
economic sanctions against Iran. The ovemding goal for which the Administration accepted 
these ominous and substantial threats to US interests - achievement of peace in the 
former Yugoslavia - is now jeopardized by the Iranian influence. As the next section 
demonstrates. Iran's influence has already presented the Clinton Administration with a 
substantial - and pertiaps intractable - problem implementing the Dayton Peace Accords. 

The Green Light and the Dayton Accords: 
An Expedient Becomes an Impediment 

As this report is t>eing written, the Dayton Accords are coming unraveled and are, 
on a day-by-day t>asts, being amerxled and modified in perhaps the vain hope of keeping 
them alive. If we assume that the accords were rrat flawed in their inception and thus coukJ 
have led to peace. ti>en the effects of the green light are even more tragic. President 
Clinton and others in the administration argued that the green light decision made the 
Dayton accords possit>le.* In reality, the policy expedient of the green light - letting 

*" Galbraith's l^ecoid,* May 26, 1995 (Describes meeting between Galbraith and 
Haris SHajdzic. Bosnian Prime Minister). 

^ E^. President Clinton at the Presidential News Conference with German 
Chancellor Helmut KoN (May 23. 1 996). 


malevolent Iran become the unchallenged benefactor of Bosnia - has undemiined the 
Dayton peace Accords. 

The facts show that the residual effects of the green light - the well-entrenched 
Iranian presence and its pervasive and pernicious influence in Bosnia in effect delayed key 
elements of the plan for over six nrranths. It also critically hampered efforts to build a multi- 
ethnic, militarily defensible, and economically viable Bosnia during the scheduled one-year 
IFOR plan. If IFOR is unable to complete its work within the one year period and the US 
extends the deployment of its forces in Bosnia (as appears almost certain), the green light 
policy will have been a major K not principal cause. 

According to Article III of Annex 1A of the Dayton Accords, all foreign forces, 
including freedom fighters, trainers, volunteers, and advisors were to have been expelled 
from Bosnia and Herzegovina rx) later than January 13. 1996, that is, thirty days after the 
agreement went into effect. Certification of the withdrawal would allow the US to go ahead 
with some of its nmre significant efforts to retHiild Bosnia economically and military so as 
to give the national entities recognized by Dayton a reasonable chance of surviving past 
the one year IFOR-supervised implementatksn plan. Among these US initiatives is the 
release of $100 million of surplus US military equipment and $70 million in economic 
reconstruction assistance. 

Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration, either oblivious to or dismissive of 
intelligence reporting on the subject, seriously underestimated the degree to which the 
Iranians had managed to ingratiate themselves with the Bosnian Muslim govemment and 
infiltrate the Bosnian military, intelligence apparatus, and other govemment and public 
organizations. In the months after the Accords were signed, the Administration repeatedly 
found itself stymied in its efforts to convince the Bosnian Muslims that Iran, who became 
their nrtost reliable ally under the green fight policy, now had to be unceremoniously 

Within a week of the signing of the Accords, 


This defiance of the Dayton Accords and the US became a front-page story on 
February 15, 1996 when NATO forces raided the joint Iranian-Bosnian terrorist training 
center on a mountaintop near Fojnica. Bosnia. NATO forces seized sixty weapons, 
explosives, manuals and booby-trapped objects, including toys and household items. The 
NATO forces also confiscated instruction manuals for laying land mines. Pictures of the 
Ayatollah Khomeini were prominently displayed on the walls, and the bocl'.r'ielves 
contained Iranian and other radical Muslim literature. Admiral Leighton W. Smith. Jr., the 
American commander of NATO forces in Bosnia said. "It doesn't take a genius to figure out 
what we found here is an abomination. No one can escape the obvious, that there is 
terrorist training activity going on in this building and it has direct association with people 
in the [Bosnian] govemnrient."" A US intelligence official on the scene noted that "what 

is bothersome is the presence of Iranians on the ground There is no complaint that 

an intelligence school was run. but methods of ten-orism and kidnaping which obviously 
violate intemational accords are our great concerns. And it appears the students were 
Bosnians and the instructors were Iranian."*^ 

On television that night. PreskJent Izetbegovic. was unapologetic. "We have more 
places like that [Fojnica] for training people to hunt war criminals We will continue that 

** Kit R. Roane. NATO Links Bosnian Government to Training Center for 
TefTOrists. New York Times, Feb. 17, 1996, at 1. 




Having had so little success in its direct dealings with the Bosnian Muslim 
government, the Clinton Administration in late Febmary approached over fifty foreign 
governments, principally in Europe and the Middle East, ast^ing them to lobby the Bosnians 
to cut their ties with Iran. The talking points provided to the ambassadors, taken from 
much more specific and damning intelligence reports, actually described the extent of the 
US's impatience in Bosnia in the wake of the green light. 

- Iran has developed a security relationship with Bosnia as part of its long- 
term effort to promote militant Islam and establish a strategic presence in the 
Balkans. To achieve these goals, Tehran has followed a multi-pronged 
program which includes providing arms, dispatching intelligence personnel 
and military trainers and conducting high profile diplomatic efforts attached 
to limited economic assistance. Iran's long term goals could undermine 
Bosnia's future. 

— Over the year, several hundred Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards 
Corps (IRGC) troops have worked closely with the Bosnian army. IRGC 
personnel also are attempting to indoctrinate susceptible Bosnian military 
personnel with the k>ng-term aim of creating a religiously motivated Bosnian 
military sympathetic to Tehran's interest. 

— The intelligence training center near Fojnica, which IFOR raided on 

^ Christine Spolar. NATO Says It Raided T ftrmrist Training' School, Washington 
Post, Feb. 17. 1996. at A31. 


February 15, shows dramatically the dangers of the Iranian intelligence 

— We are concerned, however, that Bosnian government officials do not 
seem to view the Iranians as a threat to IFOR. US officials had cited the 
Fojnica training area to Mr. Silajdzic during his visit to Washington in early 
December 1995 as one element of our understanding of the Iranian's 

— Iran continues to have the largest diplomatic mission is Sarajevo including 
a large number of intelligence officers. 

— Given Iranian experience in providing intelligence training to countries as 
well as radical Islamic groups, we are concerned that Iranian intelligence 
personnel will try to establish an intelligence training mission with the 
Bosnian government circumventing the Dayton requirement that they be 

- islamic donCre - especially Iran - have supplied more the [sic] 10,000 
tons of war material to Bosnia, since mid-1 994. Heavy transport aircraft have 
delivered arms and other military supplies to Pula airfield in Croatia where 
they are moved to Bosnia over land or by air. I^i\has used other third 
countries as conduits for its amis shipments. 

The talking points went on to note that several Islamic terrorist organizations, including 
Hamas, Hizballah, and the Egyptian Al-Gama'at A!-lslamiyyah - which claimed 
responsibility for the Octot>er car bombing in Rijeka, Croatia - and extremists from Algeria 
and Sudan established a presence in Bosnia eariy in the war.** 

Despite this global diplonnatic effort, the Bosnians did little to comply with the Dayton 
Accords. In late March, three months after the accords were signed, Bosnia still had not 
expelled the Iranians. This, according to several Department of Defense analyses, 
revealed that the Bosnian government was unwilling to turn its back on Iran, the country 
that had been its best supporter. A US Army report characterized the US as being put 
t>etween 'a rock and a hard place.* It noted that in response to a Clinton Administration 
threat to withhold nearly $400 millk>n in military training funds unless the Iranians were 
expelled, the Iranians offered to train and arm the Bosnians unilaterally. Moreover, the 

Department of State Cable, State 038237, Feb. 27, 1996. 


US's "strong-arm" tactics, combined with the lack of enthusiasm of the Europeans to re- 
arm Bosnia, had "convinced most of the Muslim leadership that future support from the 
West may be ephemeral." The report concludes that these factors plus the fragile nature 
of the Muslim-Croatian federation means the Bosnian Muslims are even more likely to 
maintain ties »/ith Iran and the Organization of the Islamic Conference." This assessment 
mirrors . a Defense Intelligence Agency judgment: "The Muslims appreciate Iran's 
assistance during the conflict .... [They] are unlikely to cut their ties to Iran even if a 
Western equipment and training program were in place."" Similarly, a Department of 
Defense report frankly concluded that "because Iran has steadfastly helped Bosnia through 
times of grave crisis, Bosnia considers it necessary to maintain ties to Iran as a future 
source of assistance after IFOR's withdrawal."^' The Defense Intelligence Agency warned 
that strenuous US efforts to force the Iranians out could result in Iranian ten-orist reprisals."" 

In the period from March through June 1996. the US continued regulariy to 
demarche the Bosnian government, which appears to be slowly bringing it closer to 
compliance, in May. a State Department spokesman admitted that there were still "a lot" 
of Iranians in Bosnia in a "big embassy" and that they make up a large percentage of the 
foreign mujahedin who remain.*' Finally, on June 26, 1996 - over five months behind 
schedule - President Clinton certified to Congress that the Bosnian government had 
fulfilled its obligation to reduce its relations with Iran. The careful wording of the press 
statement and its admission of the sccpe and seriousness of the Iranian problem make it 
worth quoting at length: 

Since the signing of the Dayton Accords, the Bosnian govemment has 
made major progress in meeting our demands on foreign forces and in 
erKling its military and intelligence relationship with Iran. Although some 
irKJividuals have assimilated into Bosnian society and assumed civilian roles. 

" US Army Special Operations Command, intellige nce Summary (10-96) . Mar. 
25. 1996. 


Nicholas Bums, Department of State Spokesman, Press Briefing (May 24. 


there is no evidence of any remaining organized Mujahedin units. 

With respect to the Iranians, the Bosnian government has assured 
that all IRGC personnel we identified to them have left Bosnia. We have no 
evidence that those IRGC remain .... 

Although we have never demanded that all Iranian nationals depart 
Bosnia or that Bosnia terminate diplomatic or economic relations with 
Tehran, we have insisted that the Bosnian government end bilateral 
intelligence cooperation in such operational areas as training and 
investigations, and end all military ties. The Bosnian government has moved 
to end the operational military and intelligence relationship with Iran. It has 
renrvsved from positions of authority key officials that were heavily engaged 
in intelligence cooperation with Iran, including the former head of the Bosnian 
intelligence agency. 

Congress conditioned appropriation of the final $70 million for 
economic reconstnjction assistance in FY 1996 on the President certifying 
Bosnian compliance with these requirements. With this certification, these 
funds will now be available to meet the needs of the Bosnian people and to 
begin the long process of rebuilding the war-shattered Bosnian economy. 
The President's certification also removes a major stumbling block to 
commencing the US-led program to train and equip Bosnian Federation 
armed forces and to strengthening Bosnia's self-defense capability. We are 
eager to move ahead with this program and will do so as soon as final 
defense arrangements between Bosnians and Croatians have been 

Missing from this statement is an admission that this foreign policy problem was largely, 
if not entirely, self-inflicted. Moreover, the certification is itself highly questionable. Indeed, 
intelligence information and a great number of press reports that appeared after the 
certification show that only by the most iawyeriy of interpretation can the certification t>e 
termed anything but an outright fetsehood. 

Within two weeks of the certification, US Ambassador to Bosnia John Menzies arxl 
Central Intelligence Agency Director John Deutch voiced concern to President lzett>egovic 

" Mike McCurry. WhKe House Press Secretary, Statement by the Press 
Secretary , June 26. 1996. 


over the continued presence in Bosnia of Iranians and other foreign Islamic militants." 
According to press reporting the State Department estimated their number "as less than 
100."** However. NATO reports from the period estimated that as many as a hundred 
Iranian fighters remained and as many as "several hundred' foreign Islamic militants 
remained of all nationalities.** 

The Boston Globe noted that the President's certification was wrong - instead of 
leaving Bosnia, "several hundred of the Islamic militants simply moved over to the Bosnian 
police, with the encouragement of Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic's Party of 
Democratic Action." The Globe went on to discuss the forced marriage of Bosnian girls 
to foreigners in order to make the foreigners eligible for citizenship and Izetbegovic's use 
of the mujahedin to harass and intimidate political opponents. The newspaper's editors 
called upon the Administration to 'make every effort to force Izetbegovic and his henchmen 
to disgorge foreign fighters who threaten peace and democracy in Bosnia."** 

At about the same time, in early July, the Washington Post printed a lengthy piece 
on the open presence of armed, officially-sanctioned, and frequently Iranian mujahedin in 
Bosnia. According to the Post, despite the Clinton Administration's public assurances to 
the contrary. 'Bosnian officials said they think several hundred Islamic fighters are still 
here, and U.S. officials still think they pose a threat to U.S. forces." The article also 
referred to the movement of large numbers of mujahedin out of the military and into the 
police. The article went on to say that the remaining foreign fighters, who 'are establishing 
themselves in a broad swatch of central Bosnia." are principally Iranian and that they are 
supported by President Alija Izetbegovic's Party of Democratic Action. The party uses 
them as a "kind of paramilitary guard' to terrorize potential political opponents.' In Zenica. 
the mujahedin are amed and are free to do as they please. They are supported by the 

"^ Barry Schwekj. CIA Director, tl S Ambassador Query Ize tbegovic about 
Iranian Fighters , Associated Press Wire Service. July 8. 1996 (hereinafter "Schweid 
artk^ie"). See also. ClA Director Deutch Visits Bosnia , Associated Press Wire Service. 
July 8. 1996. 

^ SchwekJ artide. 

'*' Kurt Schori^, preftsiirft ftrnvvs on Karadzk:. Islamk: Warrio rs. Reuters. July 8. 
1996: See also Refet Kaplan. Bosnia Passes Test Is I n L i n e t o Receive M i llions from 
US. Washington Times. June 27. 1996. at A13. 

*• EdHorial, Bosnia's Enamias Within , Boston Globe, July 10, 1996. at 18. 


Islamic Center of Zenica, which is controlled by Bosnian officials who are loyal to 
Izetbegovic. The Center seeks to establish an Islamic state and. throughout the war, had 
helped fund the Iranian trained Seventh Muslim Brigade. The Center protects the Islamic 
militants 'because the men could play an important role in any Muslim state that might 
emerge should the Dayton accord collapse."'^ 

In early August, six weeks after the certification, the Washin0on Times ran an 
article by its correspondent in Zenica describing the continued presence and influence of 
the mujahedin in organizing "a broad pattern of intimidation." The author observed that, 
despite the Clinton Administration's assurances that remaining mujahedin are not in 
organized fighting units or 'acting in threatening ways," Bosnians and NATO officers 
dispute these assertions. One American officer recounted. "They [the foreign fighters] 
stand around us waving their big knives in the air and drawing them across their neck (sic) 
saying, 'I'll kill you after the elections, you Jewish pig."** There were also reports in mid- 
August that "despite intense US pressure on the Bosnian Muslims to cut their links to Iran 
and other radical Islamic states. Bosnian President Alija Izettsegovic continues to cultivate 
such connections." ** He was also reported as having recently traveled to meet with 
prominent officials in the radical Islamic govemment of Sudan.*° 

Cleariy, the Clinton Administration's green light policy has effectively given the 
Iranians the persistent foothold they desperately wanted in Europe. That, in turn, has 
given the US a serious, unanticipated strategic problem. The US is now virtually impotent 
in its dealings with Bosnia, and prospects for peace in the region now appear as bleak as 

" John Pomfret, Mujahedin Remaining in Bosnia; Islamic Militants Strong arm 
Civilians . Defy Dayton Plan . Washington Post, July 8. 1996, at 1. 

"* Philip Smucker. Bosnia Terropzed by Foreign Soldiers Who Aided Muslims, 
Washington Times. Aug. 8. 1996. at A13. . 

** John Pomfret, Gemnan Policeman's Departure Boosts Crime in Bosnian City . 
Washington Post, Aug. 1 8, 1 996, at A29. 





Diminishing Hopes 

As this report is t)eing written - at the beginning of Octot)er 1 996 - fewer and fewer 
observers of the polKical sKuation in Bosnia expect the Dayton peace process will lead to 
its objective: a multi-ethnic, democratic Bosnia. It is already certain that the process, as 
originally defined by the Administration, will fail in that quest. We are in the last few months 
of what the Clinton Administration pledged was to have been a one-year commitment of 
US troops. The process is hopelessly t>ehind schedule, in large part, as we have shown, 
due to the lingering Iranian presence in Bosnia. Recently, the Administration has begun 
to talk of the "follow-on" commitment of US troops as part of an indeterminant, long-temi 
multinational force. Virtually all agree that without such a multinational force, the factions 
will resume fighting, and, rested and resupplied, the human carnage and destruction will 
be greater than ever. 

Of course, the hope now is that a multi-national force will remain and supervise 
elections that will populate the democratic political structure envisioned by the Dayton 
Accords. The elections, however, are in serious trout)le. They were to have taken place 
on Septemt>er 14, but campaign intimidation, voter fraud, and rampant disregard of the 
Dayton Accord rules and procedures led the Organization for Security and Cooperation in 
Europe (OSCE) on August 27 to postpone the municipal elections. OSCE's American 
director in Bosnia, former US diplonrtat Rottert Frowick, cited "across the board" and 
"pervasive" irregularities and stated. "We're trying to do too much in too short a time."^ 
Although the same problems applied to the presidential and parliamentary elections, the 
US succeeded in pressuring the OSCE to proceed with thern. reportedly out of fear that 
any backtracking in Bosnia couki affect Clinton's re-electk)n campaign.*^ 

Under existing circumstances, elections are highly unlikely to advance Bosnia 
towards the Ueal of a denxx;ratic, multi-ethnk: state. Although the Bosnian populatton is 

^ Chris Hedges. Municipal Elections in Bosnia Postponed, Raising Doubt About 
Troop PullQut , New Yorit Times, Aug. 28, 1996, at 6. 

' John Pomfret. US Diptomat Delays Local Voting in Bosnia , Washington Post, 
Aug. 28, 1996, at 1. 


anxious to find a political solution that will allow all Bosnians to live in peace, the 
Septennber 14 elections showed that the political leadership of the three communities - 
Serb. Croat, and Muslim - succeeded in stacking the decks to make sure their supporters, 
that is the most revanchist and nationalistic elements, will dominate within their zones of 
influence. In this way, elections are simply providing window-dressing for the ethnic 
partition of Bosnia, hanjening the lines of division rather than dismantling them. As the UN 
High Commissioner for Refugees in Bosnia had predicted, elections in Bosnia "will produce 
hard-line winners and xenophobic nationalists committed to the maintenance of hostile, 
homogeneous statelets."' 

The behavior of the Serb and Croat political factions in this deteriorating process 
has been predictable. From the beginning they have sought separation from what they 
b.lieve could be a Muslim-dominated, united Bosnia. Indeed, despite a superficial 
commitment in Dayton to a unified Bosnia, most Bosnian Sert> and Croat political and 
military leaders have as their ill-disguised true objective an alliance with, if not outright 
integration, into Serbia and Croatia, respectively. True to fomn, the Serbs have been the 
most visible in their flaunting of the OSCE mies. The Croatians, too, as has been shown 
in their brinkmanship with the OSCE over the governance of Mostar, are reluctant 
participants in the building of secular political institutions. The only remaining hope for the 
Dayton Accords, therefore, is that they will provide a framework in which the three factions 
will be able to move peacefully towards some form of political partition; the prospect of a 
unified Bosnia is all but hopeless. 

Izetbegovic and the Radicalization the Muslim Political Leadership 

It is the abandonment of secular and democratic principles by the Bosnian Muslim 
political leadership, particularly by President Izetbegovic and his Party of Democratic 
Action (SDA), that is the most surprising and disappointing failure of the Bosnian political 
elite to rise to the challenge of the electoral process mandated by the Dayton Accords. 
Under the leadership of President Izetbegovic, the Muslims have, in the years since the 
dissolution of Yugoslavia, frequently tried to calm the fears and suspicions of the Serb and 
Croat minorities by emphasizing a commitment to secularism and the protedion of minority 
denfKx:ratic rights. Increasingly, though, the radicalized SDA has taken refuge in 
nationalism and a divisive emphasis on the Islamic identity of Bosnia. The SDA rK>w. 
controlling a plurality of the Bosnian population (some forty percent are Muslim), appears 
single-rnindedly intent that only Bosnia be unified under its domination. 



The behavior of President Izetbegovic and the SDA since the Dayton Accords were 
signed - mirroring the worst behavior of the nationalist Croat and Serb parties* - belies 
any professed democratic objectives. This unwelcome development is of grave concem 
not only to the Croatians and Serbs, but also to the West and to the US. If the events of 
this last year are indicative, a Bosnia under the leadership of President Izetbegovic, the 
SDA, and allied parties may very well be authoritarian. Islamic, and a refuge for anti- 
Western, anti-American radicals. 

Who exactly is Izetbegovic and what role will he play in shaping the future of 
Bosnia? A senior Western diplomat with long experience in the region has been quoted 
as saying, "If you read President Izetbegovic's writings, as I have, there is no doubt that 
he is an Islamic fundamentalist .... He is a very nice fundamentalist, but he is still a 
fundamentalist. This has not changed. His goal is to establish a Muslim state in Bosnia, 
and the Serbs and the Croatians understand this better than the rest of us."* 

izetbegovic was trained as an Islamic scholar and a lawyer, and in his writings he 
shows a deep knowledge not only of Islamic political and religious thought, but also of the 
development of Western political philosophy. Nonetheless, over the decades he has been 
a constant and strong Islamic political activist and was twice arrested during the Tito era 
for his calls for 'Islamization' of the Yugoslavian Muslims. 

Two of Izetbegovic's txx>ks are available in the West, Islam between East and West 
and The Islamic Declaration. Islam Between East and West is a scholariy work treating 
a variety of theological and philosophical issues. The Islamic Declaration, is more 
revealing of Izetbegovic's practical political beliefs since it was written to be, as it is 
subtitled, 'a programme of the Islamization of Moslems and Moslem peoples."* It was 
written in 1970 and illegally copied and circulated among Muslims in Yugoslavia as a 
roadmap for the development of a resurgent, politically powerful Islam and the building of 
an Islamic state. It is, therefore, of specific interest in seeing what Izetbegovic's leadership 
portends for the future of Bosnia. 

* John Pomfret, Bosnia's Muslim Leadership Acc iisad nf IntimidatJon, 
Washington Post, Aug. 25, 1996, at 22 (hereinafter 'Pomfret. Bosnia's Muslim . . ."). 

' Chris Hedges, Bosnian Leader Hails Islam at Election Rallies . NY Times, Sept. 
2, 1996. at 7. 

* Alija Izetbegovic. The islamic Dedaration , (1970) (hereinafter The Islamic 
Dedaration ')- 


The book's first page gives the goal "Islamization of Moslems' and the motto 
"Believe and Fight." It then condemns the East and West "for injecting their ideas and 
capital, and by this new form of influence ... to ensure their presence and keep Moslem 
nations spiritually weak and materially and politically dependent.'' Izetbegovic professes 
that there is a fundamental "incompatibility of Islam and non-Islamic systems. There can 
be no peace nor coexistence between the 'Islamic faith' and 'non-Islamic' social and 
political institutions."* He rejects the Western concept of private property and believes the 
islamic state must control natural resources and "all major sources of -30cial wealth."* 
Moreover, "the upbringing of the people, in particular via the mass media - the press, 
radio, television and film - should be controlled by people of unquestionable Islamic moral 
intellectual authority."" He counsels that, through religious revival. Muslims can develop 
themselves to a point where they can assume political authority, but that "the choice of the 
right moment is always a specific question and depends on a numt>er of factors. 
Nonetheless, there is c ^eneral rule: Islamic order should and can approach the 
overtaking of mie as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough not oniy to 
overthrow the non-Islamic rule but develop new Islamic rule."" Izetbegovic also believes 
that eventually there is nothing more 'natural' and 'realistic' than for the Islamic states to 
join in "supranational structures - economic, cultural and polKical - for coordinated and 
concerted action.'^^ Indeed, he t)elieves Muslims must 'struggle to create a large Islamic 
federatksn stretching from Morocco to Indonesia, and from tropical Africa to Central Asia.'^^ 

These views of President Izetbegovic are not particularly radical in the context of 
current fundamentalist Islamic political thought; they are, however, completely antithetical 
to Western, denrK)cratic values. They are also the kjeological gunpowder present in the 
Balkans that the Clinton y^dgiinistration ignored when it added the Iranian spark in the form 
of its green light policy. 

'Id. at 23. 
* Id. at 28. 
'• Id. at 38. 
"Id. at 45. 
'' Id. at 49. 


Since the political process in Bosnia has been open, even if it has not been fair, the 
international press has been free to document the radicalization of the Muslim political elite 
up to and in the aftermath of. the September 14 elections." During the campaigning. 
NATO officials and intennational monitors in Bosnia described an officially sanctioned 
campaign to terrorize the political opposition - Muslim and non-Muslim - of P'esident 
Izetbegovic. The campaign, orchestrated by the intelligence service, (BAID). regularly 
used hundreds of garment agents, police officers, and thugs to disrupt the political rallies 
of the opposition.'* These thugs illegally detained and interrogated the opposition, even 
resorting to physical abuse and violence. Political parties that were not as stridently 
nationalistic and Islamic as the SDA were particulariy targeted for attack.'' 

This campaign of intimidation was particulariy fierce in its harassment of President 
Izetbegovic's most prominent Muslim opponent, former Bosnian Prime Minister Maris 
Silajdzic. Silajdzic established a reputation during the war as being more secular in his 
orientation than Izetbegovic and concemed about Iranian influence and the radicalization 
of Bosnia. Accordingly, he campaigned against the increasing stridency of the Islamic and 
exdusivist message of President Izettjegovic and the SDA. Silajdzic rejected Izetbegovic's 
belief that in order to unify Bosnia, the Muslims must build a strongly nationalist Islamic 
party to counter the Croat and Serb nationalists who want to partition the country." 

*' There is also a great deal of intelligence information providing details at a 
greater specificity than needed in this report. In this section, the Subcommittee has 
drawn upon intelligence reporting only to the degree necessary to complement open 
source reporting. 

'• Mike O'Connor. The Opposition in Bosnia Faces Terror Tactics . NY Times. 
Aug. 19. 1996. at 1 (hereinafter "O'Connor. The Opposition . . .•). 

" Pomfret. Bosnia's Muslim . . . supra note 4 at 22. 

'• O'Connor. The Opposition . . . supra note 16 at 1. 


Silajdzic believed the only way to prevent partition is to build secular parties and institutions 
open to all Bosnians. For this heresy, SDA youth activists with the help of the local police 
and SDA attacked Silajdzic in June 1996, hitting him on the head with a metal pipe." 
Because of this outrage, the OSCE stmck seven SDA candidates from the local slate. The 
result, however, was an increase in SDA harassment and more illegal police arrests of 
opposition party members.^ 

As observed by Michael Steiner. the second in command of the intemational civilian 
effort to oversee the peace agreement, Bosnian Muslim leaders "just don't want the 
American and European concept of the free flow of ideas; they want to control ideas."" 

The degree to which President Izetbegovic's party has aligned itself with Iran and 
abandoned any pretense at secularism was captured in a report from New York Times 
correspondent Chris Hedges in September." He reported on a campaign rally held in a 
remote mountainous region of Bosnia. Such rallies. Hedges reports, were "not designed 
to alleviate the fears of those who believe he [Izetbegovic] wants to set up a Muslim state." 
The rally began with religious music, followed by Koranic prayers. Speeches were 
drowned out by cries of "God is gresfT in Arabic. White-clad Muslim soldiers wearing green 
head-bands inscribed with Koranic verses signaling their willingness to die for Islam, were 
in attendance. And, President Izetbegovic himself issued "a call to arms filled with 
promises never to forget the sacrifice of the "martyrs."" 

Alongside Izetbegovic on the dias was the Iranian ambassador and his Iranian 
bodyguards. The ambassador was the only foreign diplomat, indeed the only foreigner, 
traveling with the President on the campaign swing. The Ambassador's presence. Hedges 
noted "lent a silent Islamic imprimatur to the event, one that many American and European 

'" Id.; Pomfret, Bosnia's Muslim . . . supra, note 4 at 22; Mike O'Connor, As 
Intimidation Persiists . Doubts Grow on Bosnia Vote . NY Times. Sept. 4, 1996, at 14 
(hereinafter *0'Connor. As Intimidation Persist s. ■•). 

** O'Connor, As Intimidation Pe rsists . . .. supca note 19 at 14. 

*' Mike O'Connor. Surprising West. Bosnia Hampers Independent TV , NY Times. 
Aug. 28, 1996. ate. 

^ Chris Hedges, Bosnian Leader Hails Islam at Election Ra llies, NY Times. Sept. 
2. 1996, at 7. 


supporters of the Bosnian Government are trying hard to ignore or dismiss."" 

In the weeks that followed. Izetbegovic kept up his close contact with the Iranians, 
purged his party of supporters "not considered Islamic enough." and continued to 
marginalize Serbs and Croatians in the government.'* 

The SDA campaign seeks to achieve more than just political objectives. According 
to NATO sources, foreign Islamic militants, including Iranian-backed terrorist cells, with the 
connivance of Izetbegovic. work jointly with the BAID to fon^gol the "long-term goal" of 
setting up a "base for European-wide terrorist operations.""'^ 

^■ iQinqife " j» 

Desprte our inclination to overlook the transgressions of the Bosnian Muslim political 
leadership because of the temble tragedies the Muslim people suffered in the war. the 
leadership's repressive conduct in the recent elections clearly indicates that it has become 
the hostage of an ideology the US would normally oppose, particularly in a volatile part of 
Europe. It has become increasingly fundamentalist in pushing a radical agenda of political 
Islam that has developed out of Bosnia's friendship with Iran. The tragedy is that the 
Administration did not pursue a policy in Bosnia to minimize radicalization rather than 
throwing the Bosnians into the arms of Iran's ayatollahs. 

The Iranian and Foreign Radical Islamic 
Presence and Influence Today 

A number of press reports in September indicate that the situation regarding the 
presence of Iranians and foreign Islamic radicals continues without improvement: 

*» See also. Mark M. Nelson. Electmns. Far From Ushering In Peace, Could Be 
Prelude to Brflakup of Bosnia. Wall Street Journal. SepL 13. 1996. at 6 (for descriptkins 
of Islamic rallies "rife with the sounds and symbols of Islam"). 

** Chris Hedges. Three L eaders 6f New Bosnia: Pulling in Three Directions , NY 
Times. Sept. 18. 1996. at 6. 

** Washington Whispers. U.S. News and Worid Report. Sept. 9. 1996. at 16 
(hereinafter "Washin gton Whispers ") 


NATO officials and Western diplomats report that the Iranian-backed Hannas. 
Hizballah, and Islamic Jihad organizations still have training camps 
throughout Muslinrvcontrolled areas, with many of their members managing 
to stay in Bosnia with false documents or else because of forced marriages 
to Bosnian women and girls.** 

NATO officials estimate that throughout Bosnia as many as a "couple of 
hundred' Iranian and other foreign militants remain, particularly in central 
Bosnia. The town of Bakotici alone has as many as 50 to 100.*' 

President Izetbegovic has shnjgged off requests that he expel a group of 
Middle Eastern fighters who threatened to kill US troops and civilians. The 
threat was so intolerable that on September 12, the US had lodged a formal 
demand that the fighters be expelled." 

A senior NATO official stated that there were large numbers of foreign 
mercenaries present in Bosnia who are trained as fighters and terrorists. 
These mercenaries, who are closely allied with Iranian intelligence, are 
awaiting orders to set off car bombs and carry out assassinations and are 
"poised" to strike.** 

As recently as the fourth week of September, US entreaties to President 
Izetbegovic to turn out foreign Islamic militants were "ignored." Nonetheless, 
the US again approached the Bosnians with a request that they expel senior 
Iranian intelligence operatives.'" 

Fundamentalist activities in Bosnia continue to be covertly funded by Iran 
and are supported by President Izetbegovic and his close colleague. Deputy 

^ Chris Hedges. Outsiders Bring islamic Fervor to th e Balkans. NY Times. Sept 
23, 1996, at 1 (hereinafter "Hedges, Outsiders../). 

*• John Pomfret, llLS_Protps ts Mideast Fighters in Bos nia, Washington Post . 
Sept. T3, 1996, at A34 (hereinafter "Pomfret, US Protests . . ."). 

* Hedges, Outsiders . . ., supia note 27 at 1. 


Defense Minister Hasan Cengic." 

In these circumstances, it is no wonder that the cun-ent situation in Bosnia has been 
characterized as a "time bomb waiting to go off."" 

Cengic. a Muslim cleric, is an important player in Bosnian political and governmental 
affairs and has obstructed US efforts to reduce Iranian influence in Bosnia. As the senior 
Muslim in the Defense Ministry, he is its effectual head. His is a long-time friend of 
Izetbegovic, and the two were co-defendants in a 1983 trial for fomenting Muslim 
nationalism in what was then Yugoslavia. Cengic. who has lived in Iran, was responsible 
for the logistical and financial operations of the Iranian ajjns pjgeline. In addition to beinc 
avowedly anti-secular and open in his admiration of Irar " 

The British have expressed their concern to the US that someone with this 
background and affinity for Iran should be the principal Bosnian administrator of the over 
$100 million US program to train and equip the Bosnians.** Interestingly, a senior US 
official has also identified Cengic as being "the biggest obstacle" to the snrKX)th operation 
of the program.** Difficulties encountered have included Bosnian efforts to shake down the 
US assistance program with "taxes" and charging exortjitant prices for simple logistic 
services. Even if one were not to know Cengic's background and clandestine affiliation 
with Iran, his actions cleariy indicate his objective is to presen/e Iranian and militant Islamk: 
influences in the Bosnian military and to keep the US influence to a minimum. 

A second individual who is working actively to counter US efforts at minimizing the 
mfluence and activities of Iran in Bosnia is Irfan Ljevakovic. Ljevakovic is known for his 
"strong ties" to Iran and his wori< in getting the Middle Easterners into Bosnia to help wage 

'* Washington Whiis pftrs. supia note 25. 

" Hedges. Outsidfirs  . .. supra note 27 at 1. 

*• Pomfret. US Protests . supra note 28 at A34. 

" John Pomfret. First Ametican Arms S hipment Arrivfts in Bosnia , Washington 
Post. Aug. 30. 1996. at A28. 


the war.^ Interestingly, Ljevakovic, who was a co-founder of the SDA with Izetbegovic, 
now also serves as a senior officer in the BAID secret police.^' At this point it should come 
as no surprise that he is the very individual Izetbegovic has made the principal interlocutor 
with the US in discussing Iranian and mujahedin issues. 

Intelligence ij 
frightening detail 

rmation confirms much of the above and amplifies it. sometimes in 

While the Iranians have lowered their political profiles somewhat, and while their 
numbers decreased through early 1996, the US intelligence community has concluded 
that, notwithstanding President Clinton's certification, th g^t the Iran ian presence in Bosnia 
has actually begun to increase again since June 1996.]^ 

** Pomfret. US Protests , . . , supca note 28 at A34. 


Moreover, the Administration's asserljj 
Iranians have been removed is incorrect. 

lat the Bosnians who were closest to the 

A US intelligence assessment prepared in September 1996 concluded ti(at the 
MOIS actively carries on in Bosnia a variety of activities inimicable to US interests: 



The Iranian Green Light and the Future of Bosnia: 
Worrying Signs 

in contemplating the ramifications of the Administration's green light policy on the 
future, we cannot speculate on each of the possible permutations of the polKlcal future of 
Bosnia. It is sufficient here to note that it appears increasingly unlil<ely that Bosnia will 
emerge as a stable, multi-ethnic democracy. Either peacefully or through war, there will 
likely be a de facto or de jure partition of Bosnia into factions ethnically dominated 
autonomous regions or states, possibly followed by annexations of the irredentist areas 
into Croatia and Serbia. 

Assuming a Bosni9~ Muslim state survives this process, it will be the indelible mark 
of Iran as a result of the green light. The Bosnia government uses Iranians and utner 
foreign mujahedin as political. Geological, and religious storm-troopers, beating and 
terrorizing those who do not subscribe to a nationalist and Islamic agenda. The Bosnian 
government has t)een transformed from secularism to a brand of repressive political Islam. 
Iran and Bosnia just this year coordinate d intelligence and tenorist activities, some of which 
were directed against the US. ^ BMM^B^^^^BB BBBBBIMWBBBi 
^igimi[im|MHBM^aHBHi|^^^^HBBBJThere is little hope that the 
B^nianMuslimleaaerehi^varp^^^ ties to Iran and re-embrace 

denfK)cratic values.i)WyB|4iSjg^^^^^ 

This is the grim legacy of the Administration's Iranian green light polk:y, and it must 
be acknowledged if we as a natk)n are to work to neutralize it 




Much of this report is classified and must undergo a declassification process before 
K can t>e shared with the public. That process is, by law, in the hands of the Executive 
Branch. Due to difficulties the Select Subcommittee has had with the Clinton 
Administration's hidirig behind classification statutes so as to avoid declassifying 
embarrassing information — and there is a great deal here highly emt>arrassing to the 
Administration - we are not hopeful that this process can be completed successfully, 
particularly in the near future. 

The Subcommittee feels, however, the need to share with the American people, as 
besX it can, the results of the investigation. For this reason we have crafted the following 
conclusions in a way that they do not reference property or improperly 'classified' 
information. They are, therefore, less precise and comprehensive - and less pointed - 
than they would otherwise be, but they may, at least, be shared publicly. 

It is our hope that the Administration will relent in its efforts to conceal the history of 
this foreign policy fiasco so that the American public will eventually see a reasonably 
complete version of the full report which fully documents the conclusions summarized 
below - and much, nrtuch more. 

1. The Administration's Iranian green light policy gave Iran an unprecedented 
foothold in Europe and has recldessly endangered American lives and US 
strategic Interests. 

The Clinton Administration, unat>le to convince tfie United Nations to follow its lead 
in lifting the Bosnian arms embargo and unwilling to abandon its foreign policy philosophy 
of assertive multilateralism (which denied the US the authority to act unilaterally), found 
itself in 1994 without a vehicle it found acceptable to implement a change in foreign policy 
it t>elieved to be in the national interest - the lifting of the Bosnian arms emtiargo. 
Accordirtgly, the Administration was receptive when its ambassador to Croatia, Peter 
Galbraith - a man rwted by his colleagues for his passionate pursuK of causes, free- 
wheeling style, and an open attitude towards Iran - pressed policy-makers to consider a 
scheme whereby Iran would be allowed to act as the US surrogate in providing militarily 
assistance to the Bosnians. 

The President's decision to give Iran a green light in the Balkans altowed Iran to 
expand its ecor)omic and dipfomatic relations, as well as establish a military, security, and 


intelligence presence so expansive it became the largest concentration of official Iranians 
outside the Middle East. The consequences have t}een far-reaching and pernicious. They 
persist to this day. 

In Croatia, a government that had t>efore the green light t>een a consistent ally in 
the US's fight against Iranian-sponsored terrorism, was co-opted by the weapons it 
received in exchange for being a staging point for the shipment of Iranian arms into Bosnia. 
As a result, after the green light, there was a serious deterioration of cooperation with the 
US in countering very real arxj imminent Iranian-Jinked terrorist threats. The US even now 
must cope with ttie consequences of Croatia's developing what has t>een referred to as an 
"all-but-out-of-control' relationship with Iran in the wake of the green light. 

The consequences of the green light policy have been much, much worse in Bosnia. 
After the Administration gave the green light. Iran virtually ovemight t>ecame the unrivaled 
foreign benefactor of the Bosnian government. As a result, the Bosnian government 
became less secular and denrH3cratic and more open in its embrace of a radical Islamk: 
political agenda acc gp^able to Iran but inimicable to US natbnal security interes ts and 
democratic values. 

These disturt>ir)g yet deariy foreseeable devek^pments leave no room for doubt that 
the Administration's green light to Iran - of all countries - may have doomed the only real 
hope for Bosnia: the devek^pment of social and political institutkjns founded on respect 
for human rights arxl denxxvatk: principles. Somehow the Administratnn failed to see ttie 
short-term expediency of its Iranian green light was a long-term curse on the Bosnian 

Even now, the Administratk>n is having to cope with the fallout from its policy. Iran's 
pernicious influence and the Bosnian politteal leadership's private thralldom to Iran are 


giving the Clinton Administration its nwst intractable, behind-the-scenes problenis in 
Bosnia. Despite the Administration's put)lic assurances to the American people and 
Congress to the contrary, Iranian influence in the highest Bosnian ruling circles remains 
pervasive and Iranian terrorist and intelligence capabilities in Bosnia remain great cause 
for US ooncem. The Iranians are biding their time, and the radicalized Bosnian Muslim 
political leadership (in contrast to a largely secular population), may yet succeed in tuming 
Bosnia into a radical and authoritarian state. There appears to be little hope that the 
situation will improve since the Bosnian govemment is fighting tooth-and-nail US efforts to 
cut its ties to Iran. The probability that the green light will end up costing American lives 
is an too great given Iran's trade record. 

What is even more disturbing to the Sut)committee than the disastrous 
consequences of this ill-conceived policy is that even after its folly became apparent, the 
Administration rejected other specific and readily available options that could have 
lessened, if not reversed, the damage that had been done. Instead, it took actions that 
exacert>ated the problem and further enhanced Iran's grip on Bosnia. 

2. The President and the American people were poorly served by the 
Administration officials who rushed the green light decision without due 
deiit}eration, full information and an adequate consideration of the 

The Administration's decision to issue the green light was reached hurriedly and 
without a full knowledge of the relevant facts. Tradittonal consultative mechanisms were 
drcumvented. The dedskxi arxJ delit)eFative processes were intentnnally undocumented. 
Key information was not passed up to tfie Presklent's advisors, and even less information 
was made available to the Preskient himself. Moreover, senior NSC and Department of 
State officials alkiwed themselves to be forced to rush the decisk)n-making process to 
meet an artificially short deadline that discouraged, their conskJeratk>n of other less 
dangerous policy optk>ns. As a result, the deciston was made without full conskJeratk>n 
of the strategic consequences of giving Iran - the rogue state most hostile to the US - an 
effective exdusive franchise to buy influence and peddle terrorism in a voiatile part of 
Europe highly vulnerable to fundamentafist agitatnn. hiad the PreskJent and his senk>r 
advisors inquired deeper, it is possit>ie that the hazards of the Iranian green light policy 
would have been appreciated and. perhaps. avokJed. 

3. The Iranian green light policy was Inconsistent with - Indeed antithetical to — 
the established policy to Isolate and contain Iran. 

The Clinton AdministratkNi has shown an admirable consistency in advocating and 


enforcing the long-held and bipartisan-supported policy of isolating and containing Iran, 
politically, militarily, and economicalty. When presented with the question in the spring of 
1994 about Iran's proposal to come into the Balkans and Europe in a big way, the policy 
was dear and the answer should have been obvious: 'Just say 'no." That is exactly what 
the Bush Administration did two years earlier when presented with almost the identical 
situation. It is bafflirig, therefore, that the Administration decided instead to give the 
Iranians a green light and held open the door to Europe for them. The Administration, in 
an amazing lapse of judgment scuttled its own policy of isolating Iran and instead helped 
it develop an extensive and uniquely valuable set of political, military, and economic 
relationships in Europe. 

It is impossible to reconcile the Administration's much-ballyhooed public policy of 
isolating Iran with its secret efforts to help Iran expand and normalize its foreign relations. 

4. The Administration's efforts to l(eep even senior US officials from seeing its 
"^ngerprints" on the green light policy ied to confusion and disarray within 
the government 

From the beginning, the Administration realized the green light policy was 
'dynamite' and so worked to implement it 'without fingerprints.' Within the Administration, 
this meant that only a handful of senior officials were officially aware of it - basically, the 
President and a few individuals in the National Security Council and the Department of 
State. The CIA, which was responsible for collecting intelligence on emt>argo busting and 
Iran, as well as working to support the policy of isolating Iran, and the Department of 
Defense, whk;h was responsible for enforcing the amis embargo, were not advised even 
at the most senior levels. Moreover, important State Department officials working with key 
allies, the UN, and in relevant policy areas continued to work with the understanding that 
it remained US policy to oppose violations of the arms embargo. In effect, while the CIA, 
Defense Department and most State Department officials were working to counter the 
green light policy, a few senior policy makers were secretly working to implement it. This 
complete lack of coordination between relevant US agencies on matters of important 
natnnal policy was such that, were the consequences not so serious, it would be worthy 
fodder for a Shakespearean, if not a Marx Brothers comedy. 

5. The Administration's duplicity has seriously damaged US credibility with its 

It is ironic that this Administration - one that has placed such an emphasis on 
multilateralism - has in its duplicitous, if not outright deceptive, Iranian green light policy, 
given other countries serious reason to doubt the US's good bith in any of its assurances 


and commitments. 

On numerous occasions, senior Administiation officials, including the President, 
defended their unwillingness to arm the Bosnian Muslims unless the UN arms embargo 
was lifted. Two reasons were emphasized. First the Administration professed an 
unbreakable fidelity to the letter and spirit of UN Security Council resolutions, even when 
inconvenient for the US, because a strong UN represented the very best possibility of 
creating a stable, more just and responsit>le world order. Second, the Administration 
repeatedly counseled Congress and other countries that we must keep faith with our allies 
in the Contact Group. Any move by the US to break the embargo, they argued, would 
endanger allied soldiers on the ground in Bosnia as part of UNPROFOR and. therefore, 
lead to the evacuatk)n of European troops. 

At the same time the Administration was making these high-minded arguments 
about the need to respect both intematbnally agreed upon mles and US allies, it was 
working assiduously behind the scenes to undermine them. The message this sends is 
dear. 1) so long as you publicly support intematranal law, you may privately do virtually  
anything you want, and 2) it would be a foolish ally, indeed, that trusted this Administratton 
to act in concert and in accordance with its agreements. 

It is no wonder that our allies have been less willing to follow the US lead during the 
past nwnths in any number of international arenas. 

In the Iranian green light matter the Administratk>n has squandered our allies' good 
will and trust in us. Moreover, it dki so in pursuit of a short-sighted and eventually self- 
destructive policy. 

6. The Administration repeatedly deceived the American people about its Iranian 
green light policy. 

Rather than follow the traditk>nal practk» of deflecting questions and refusing to 
comment on allegatrans of particularly sensitive foreign activities of the US government, 
Clinton Administration officials, including Vne PreskJent, directiy and through press 
spokesnDen and press statements, repeatedly deceived the American people in an effort 
to coverup its secret polk:y of giving Iran a green light to expand its presence and influence 
In the Balkans. 

These are just a few of many examples: 

• The United States is not, underiine not covertiy supplying arms or supporting the 


supply of arms to the Bosnian government.* (Secretary of State Warren 

• The US did not cooperate, coordinate or consult with any other government 

regarding the provision of arms to the Bosnians We have always made clear 

that we were abiding by the arms embargo and that we expected other countries 
to do so as well.* (National Security Council)^ 

• "We are certainly not contributing to it, and we certainly are not tuming a blind eye.* 
(Department of State, in response to a question about the US role in getting Iranian 
arms to Bosnia.)^ 

• *No.* (President Clinton in response to a question if the US was involved in 
'orchestrating the transfer of arms to the Bosnian Muslims')* 

7. The Administration deliberately concealed the truth from Congress regarding 
the President's Iranian green light decision. 

Despite protests to the contrary in the eariy months of this investigation. Deputy 
Secretary of State Strobe Talbott recently admitted to the Subcommittee that the 
Administration had intentionally not told Congress of the green light it gave Iran in the 
Balkans. The Administration's deliberate efforts to keep Congress in the dari( was 
inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation in the fonmatton and executk>n of US foreign 
poik:y that various legislative mandates and executive orders have been designed to 
foster. It is Congress' constitutional right to insist that the Executive Branch's activities stay 
within the bounds lawfully mandated by Congress and that Congress be consulted on 
important foreign policy matters. Consultation with Congress is especially important when 
the PreskJent has adopted policies that directly impinge on matters about which Congress 
has expressed strong views. Two such matters are dearty the Bosnian amris embargo and 

^ Bill Gertz. Perry Threatens 'Massive Air"; Christopher Denies Report nf Cnvt*tt 
Arms Shipmantg The Washington Times, July 28, 1995. 

' Nattonal Security Coundl, Daily Gukjance Update. Feb. 2, 1996. 

' Department of State Cable. State 092370. Apr. 14. 1995. 

* The Late Edition: US Denies Funneling Arms to Bosnian Muslims (CNN 
televisnn broadcast, July 28. 1995). 


the US policy to isolate Iran. In taking nrteasures that circumvented the embargo and 
fnjstrated the bipartisan Congressional policy of isolating Iran, it is highly disturbing that the 
Administration not only did not take any steps to consult with or even inform Congress, but 
said things that, in retrospect, can only be viewed as intentionally misleading. 

8. Several Administration ofncials gave false testimony to Congress on the 
development and implementation of the Iranian green light policy. 

The Select Subcommittee, in additton to reviewing reams of documents in its 
investigation, took swom deposittons from 27 individuals who were in key posittons of 
particular importance for understanding the events under examinatk>n. The Subcommittee 
interviewed another 50 or more people less central to the investigatran or who were 
directed by the White House not to provkje swom testimony on the basis of executive 
privilege. Comparing the statements of several individuals, it is apparent that there are 
serious nnaterial discrepancies over several matters central to the Subcommitieu's 

The Select Subcommittee is truly disturt>ed that it received testimony and 
statements from the Natkjnal Security Advisor Anthony Lake. Deputy Natranal Security 
Advisor Samuel ("Sandy*) Berger, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, and 
Ambassador Jenonne Walker that directly contradicts Ambassador Peter Galbraith's swom 
testinfK}ny with respect to material issues before the Subcommittee and Congress. 

Moreover, the Select Subcommittee is further dismayed that swom testimony 
provkled by Ambassadors Peter Galbraith and Charies Redman, both before the House 
International Relattons Committee and the Select Subcommittee, is not supported by 
evidence uncovered through this investigatton. 

Accordingly, the Subcommittee is referring this matter to the Department of Justice 
for further criminal 'nvestigatmn. 

9. There is evidence that Ambassador Peter Galbraith may have engaged in 
activities that could l>e characterized as unauthorized covert action. The 
evidence is sufficient to warrant referral to the House Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence for further investigation and action within its 

There is evklence that Ambassador Galbraith played a signifk:ant supervisory role 
with respect to at least one Iranian weapons transshipments through Croatia. Galbraith's 
goal in facilitating this transshipment was to affect political and military conditions in 



There is also evidence that he had input into or advance knowledge of the planning 
and operation of the Iranian weapons pipeline that Iran used to ship arms and gain 
influence in the embattled Balkans. There is uncontroverted evidence that he was privy 
to operational detaDs concerning the pipeline that woukj ordinanly be known only by active 
partidpants in the planning or operation of the pipeline. 

To the extent he actively participated in the formation and execution of the Iranian 
arms pipeline, there is a high probability that he overstepped the bounds of traditional 
diplomatic activities and engaged in an unlawful covert action undertaken in the absence 
of a Presidential finding and without timely notification of Congress. 

In light of these conduskins we are recommending to the House Intemational 
Relatkwis Committee that this Report and the results of this investigation be refen-ed to tlie 
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for further investigation and action 
within that Committee's jurisdiction. 

10. The Central Intelligence Agency exercised sound Judgment in its refusal to 
participate in activities that might have otherwise led to an inadvertent and 
illegal covert action. 

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did not partidpate in the development of the 
green light policy. CIA officers at several levels correctly refused to participate in its 
implementation without assurances that A was being conducted within the parameters of 
legal support to dipkxnatic activities or a presklential finding. Because CIA officials rightly 
insisted on proper legal authorization for the change in US policy to the green light policy 
(and, if required, a notificatnn of Congress), the Administration side-stepped the CIA and 
dkJ not keep it adequately informed. 

K is also ourfirxling that CIA officers acted appropriately in monitoring and reporting 
to their superiors what were, to them, apparently rogue activities by senior US State 
Department officials. Moreover, senk>r CIA offidals property reported this infonnation to 
the appropriate authorities with the Department of State and the National Security Coundl 
for their actkm. CIA was put in this awkward situation solely t>ecause of the unnecessary 
and unjustifiable secrecy within the Administration concerning its green light policy. 

11. The Administration is hiding its embarrassment l>ehind the veil of 


Despite the President's assurance to Congress that his Administration would 
'cooperate full/ in^its examination of the Iranian green light poTicy, the Administration has 
repeatedly placed serious, unnecessary obstacles in the Select Subcommittee's way. 
including the withholding of documents and the refusal to allow some officials to sit for 
sworn depositions. In addition to its efforts to harriper the investigation, the Administi^tion 
is also atxising its authority to classify information so as to avoid letting the Subcommittee 
share with the American public what It has teamed. 

In July the Subcommittee tested the Administration's commitment to cooperate by 
asking the Department of State to review three documents for declassification that are 
essential to telling the story of how the green light policy was actually Implemented, as 
opposed to how it has been pubfidy portrayed by the AdminlstiBtion. After over one rrwnth 
of deliberation and several missed deadlines, the Department finally responded by refusing 
to declassify any part of two of the documents and declassifying only approxinrately a half 
of the third document. This was despite the fact that a substantial portion of these 
documents pertained to events that have been testified about publicly (with "spin") by 
several Administration officials. 

What most clearly demonsti^ted the Administration's efforts to hide its actions 
behind the shroud of classification Is that several sentences and phrases were redacted 
from the third document that were clearly unclassified but which would have embarrassed 
the AdminisbBtion. This includes, for example, a senior State Department official's 
negative characterization of the policy-making community In Washirigton. Follow-up 
discussons with the State Department dkl not result in a reconskleration of their obviously 
improper action. Accordingly, at the request of Chairman Hyde, the Information Security 
Oversight Office has launched an investigation of the Department's behavtor in Uiis case. 



A. Budget, Biographies, and Acknowledgments 



House Resolution 416 authorized the establishment of a Select Subcommittee on 
the United States Role In Iranian Amfis Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia of the Committee 
on International Relations. The budget was approved with the passage of House 
Resolution 417 on May 8, 1996. authorizing the expenditure of funds to establish and 
cofKluct an investigation. The Majority and Minority Counsel conducted the investigation 
in the nxtst economical manner possible. The Congress budgeted $995,000.00 for a 
period not to exceed six months. 


Chief Counsel Richard J. Pecker 

Richard J. Pocket is presently a partner in the Nevada law firm of Oickerson, 
Dk:kerson, Consul and Pocker, engaged primarily in civil litigatk)n. Prk>r to entering private 
practice, he served with the United States Attorney's Office in Las Vegas, Nevada as an 
Assistant United States Attorney, the Chief Assistant United States Attorney and as the 
interim United States Attorney for the Distrk:t of Nevada, appointed to the latter position by 
U.S. Attorney General Richard Thomburgh. 

During his career as a Federal prosecutor, Mr. Pocker successfully prosecuted 
William Potter Gale and other anti-govemment. anti-Semitic tax protestors in the celebrated 
'Committee of the States* trail in 1987. a prosecution that set the stage for later efforts 
against gnsups such as the Freemen of Montana. In the late 1980's, Mr. Pecker's 
significant series of court room vk:tories over fraudulent telemari<eting companies resulted 
in his receiving the Directors' Special Commendation Award from the U.S. Department of 
Justice and the Chief Postal Inspector's Special Award for Excellence of Performance in 
the Administration of Justk». He is a 1980 graduate of the University of Virginia School 
of Law. and a veteran of the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. 

Staff Director John I. Millis 

John Millis previously worthed for the House Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence (HPSCI) as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Human Intelligence. 
Analysis, and Counterintelligence, the subcommittee responsit>le for, atTX>ng other things, 
oversight of most CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI intelligence activities. 

Prior to his worit on Capitol Hill, Mr. Millis served for 12 years in the CIA's 



Directorate of Operations as ar» operations officer and manager in a variety of overseas 
posts in Asia and Africa. In 1991-92 he also served as the Director of Central Intelligence's 
liaison officer to the National Security Agency (NSA) and Executive Assistant to the Deputy 
Director of NSA. Mr. Millis graduated from Wake Forest University in 1975 and attended 
graduate school at the University of Chicago and Banaras Hindu University. India. He 
received an M.A. and Ph.D. (with distinction) from Chicago. 

Deputy Chief Counsel Patrick B. Murray 

Patricic B. Murray served as full committee Counsel with the House Judiciary 
Committee from January 1995 through May 1996. His primary responsibilities involved 
crime issues pending before the Committee. He assisted Chainnan Hyde in the drafting 
arvj ultimate enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which 
was signed into law on April 24. 1996 (P.L. 104-132). 

Before rrxjving to Washington in 1995, Mr. Murray was an Assistant United States 
Attorney for the Northem District of Illinois, in Chicago, Illinois. He served the United 
States Justice Department in that capacity since 1990. He was involved in prosecuting 
major narcotics offenses, and white cdlar crimes, including mail and wire fraud and public 
corruption cases. Prior to joining the Justice Department, Mr. Muoay was engaged in the 
private practice of law as an Associate with the firm of Clausen, Miller, Gorman, Caffrey, 
& Witous P.C. also in Chicago. 

Mr. Murray is a graduate of the DePaul University College of Law (J.D.) and 
received his undergraduate degree from Creighton University {B.A.). 

Associate Counsel Michael K. Young 

Michael K. Young, is a Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law and Legal Institutions: 
Director. Center for Japanese Legal Studies and Center for Korean Legal Studies at 
Columbia University. Mr. Young was a law deric to Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the 
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. 1976-77. and to Justice William H. Rehnquist 
of the United States Supreme Court. 1977-78. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1978. 
Mr. Young has been a visiting scholar at tt>e Faculty of Law of the University of Tokyo. 
1978-80. 1983. a Japan Foundation Feltow, 1979-80 and a visiting professor at Nihon 
University. 1985 and Waseda University. 1989. He also served as Ambassador for Trade 
and Eroflronmental Affairs. 1992-93; Deputy Undersecretary for Economfe and Agricultural 
Affairs. 1991-93; and Deputy Legal Adviser to the US Department of State. 1989-91. 

Mr. Young has tieen the Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Japan Sodet/s 
Publk; Affairs Program; a POSCO Research Institute Fellovr. and member of the Coundl 
on Foreign Relatfons. He graduated in 1973 with a B.A. from Brigham Young University 
and received a J.D. from Harvard University in 1976, where he sensed as note editor of the 


Harvard Law Review. 

Associate Counsel Stephen F. Smith 

Stephen F. Smith is an associate with the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley & 
Austin, where his practice focuses on litigation t>efore the U.S. Supreme Court and other 
federal and state appellate courts. Before joining Sidley & Austin. Mr. Smith served as law 
clerk to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, of the U.S. Supreme Court, and to Judge 
David B. Sentelle, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Mr. 
Smith graduated with horrars in 1992 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where 
he served as Articles Editor of the Virginia Law Review, and received his undergraduate 
degree from Dartmouth College in 1988. 

Executive Assistant Julia W. Gaines 

Julia Gaines, prior to joining the Select Subcommittee, served as the Legal 
Research Assistant fbr the Office of Independent Counsel Joseph E. diGenova from 
January 1992 through June 1996. From May 1991 through January 1992, she was the 
Minority Staff Assistant fbr the U.S. House of Representative's "October Surprise" Task 

Prior to her government service, Ms. Gaines was the Administrative Assistant for 
Menill Lynch and a Senbr Sales Assistant/Insurance Coordinator's Assistant for Kkider, 
Peabody & Co.. Inc. In additkin. she was the Senior Sales Assistant/New Accounts 
Administrator for Prudential-Bache Securities. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science 
degree in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1982. 

Senior Staff Associate Janlne E. Doherty 

Janine Doherty. prior to joining the Select Subcommittee on June 17, 1996 as 
Senior Staff Associate, sen/ed in the office of Congressman Peter T. King (R-NY). During 
her year with Representative King, she handled legislative research and constituent 
corr^ponder>ce. Ms. Doherty received a B A. in lntematk>nal Politics from the American 
University in 1994. and next year plans to pursue a law degree. 

Staff Associate Douglas 0. Austin 

Douglas Austin joined the Select Subcommittee on July 15. 1996. Prior to his 
current position he woiked as a researcher for the Republican National Committee and 
prevKMJSly as an intern for the IHouse Republican Polk:y Committee. Mr. Austin graduated 
with Honors in 1 992 from the University of Rediands with a B A in Govemment and History 
and received a Masters Degree in Intematkinal Studies fix}m Claremont Graduate School 
in 1994. 


Full Commlttes SuppoiLStaff 

We would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance provkled from Full 
Committee Staff Memt>ers. Christopher A. Baugh, Caroline G. Cooper, Barbara J. 
Scantiebury. and Allison K. Kieman. wtK>se tireless work and dedication were 
indispensat>le to the completion of this project. 

We wouM also like to acknowledge John Mackey for his insights and suggesttons 
offered as Liaison to the Select Subcommittee. In addition, the Selec* Subcommittee coukJ 
not have succeeded without the valuable expertise of Senior Staff Associate Jo Weber and 
Budget/Fiscal Affoirs OffKer Shelly Livingston. 

We wouki also like to acknowledge the extensive help in travel arrangements and 
security measures provkled by the Security Officer Willie Lobo. In addition, the Select 
Subcommittee coukl not have completed any of its wortc without the continued support and 
help from Systems Administrator Cheryl Eamshaw in establishing a computer system 
whk:h enabled the Sutxnmmittee to not only write its report, but also, through the use of 
refTK)vat)le hard-drives. enat>le it to draft a report while maintaining the security of classified 


Minority Chief Counsel Richard Meitzer 

Richard Meitzer is a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Washington 
Counsel. P.C. In July 1996. he was appointed Minority Chief Counsel to the Select 
Subcommittee. Mr. Meitzer served for three years as the Chief Counsel to the US House 
Committee on Interior and Insular Afbirs. Mr. Meitzer also served as Legislative Director 
to US Representative Abner J. Mikva. Mr. Meitzer has conducted numerous investigative, 
legislative, and oversight hearings. He is a native of Chicago. Illinois, and received his 
undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and his law degree from 
Northwestem University School of Law. 

Minority Staff Director Michelle Maynard 

Prior to being appointed Minority Staff Director of the Subcommittee, Michelle 
Maynard served from 1989-1996 as Professnnal Democratic Staff Member for the Senate 
Committee on Foreign Relations, with lead staff responsibility for the Newly Independent 
States and Europe, including Bosnia. Croatia and the former Yugoslavia. 

Before joining the Senate Foreign Relatuns Committee in 1989, Ms. Maynard 
served for two years with the US Department of State's Public Affairs Bureau. She hokJs 
a Masters Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a Bachetor of 


Science Degree in Political Science from the College of Holy Cross. 

Deputy Minority Chief Counsel Charles Tiefer 

Charles Tiefer. in addition to his position with the Select Subcommittee, is an 
Associate Professor at the University of Baltinx>re Law School. Mr. Tiefer was the Deputy 
General Counsel and Solicitor of the US House of Representatives from 1984-1995. In 
1987. he was the Special Deputy Chief Counsel for the US House of Representatives 
Select Committee Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair. Mr. Tiefer has published the Ibe 
SB mi-Sovereign Prasident (Westview Press, 1994). and Congressional Practice a nd 
Procedure (Greenwood Press 1989). 

Deputy Minority Chief Counsel Charies Rothfeld 

Prior to joining the Select Subcommittee, Charies Rothfeld served as a Special 
Associate Independent Counsel on the tran-Contra inquiry and a consultant to the HUD 
Independent Counsel inquiry. Since 1991, Mr. Rothfeld has been special counsel at 
Mayer. Brown and Piatt He served as assistant to the Solicitor General of the United 
States from 1984-1988 and as Counsel to the State and Local Legal Center from 1989- 

Mr. Rothfeld was the law derk to Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court and 
to Chief Judge Spottswood Robinson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District 
of Columbia Circuit He is a graduate of Cornell University and received a J.D. from the 
University of Chicago Law School. 

Minority Staff Associate Carrie Y. Moore 

Prior to joining the Select Subcommittee, Canie Moore served as the Legislative 
Assistant to the Minority Chief Counsel for the US House of Representatives Committee 
on Resources, from 1991-1996. Ms. Moore's duties included researching and drafting 
legislation. Committee Reports, floor speeches and amendments. Ms. Moore received her 
Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, 
in June 1991. 

Minority Staff Associate Usa A. Rich 

Prior to her appointment to the Select Subcommittee. Ms. Rich served as the legal 
research analyst for both Independent Counsel Daniel S. Pearson in his investigation of 
former Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown and Independent Counsel Joseph E. 
diGenova in his investigation of former White House official Janet Mullins. Ms. Rich also 
wor1(ed as a legal research assistant for an investigative law firm. In 1992, Ms. Rich was 
a majority staff assistant on the US House of Representatives "October Surprise' Task 


Force. Ms. Rich has worked under grant for the Marine Corps Historical Center and served 
as an intern to Representative Charles Range! (D-NY). Ms. Rich completed her 
undergraduate degree in Beijing. China and cunently is pursuing her J.D. degree from 
American University. 

D. Special Investigators 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation detailed three agents to the Select 
Sut>committee for the purpose of conduting interviews and conducting analysis of 
documents. They were detailed as a source to be shared by both the Majority and Minority 

Dave F. Olson, Supervisory Special Agent 
Federal Bureau of Investigation 

Special Agent Olson joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1970 He 
has been assigned to FBI Field Offices located in Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas and 
Milwaukee where he heM the position of Supervisor. In additk^n, he has had two tours of 
duty at FBI Headquarters, in Washington, O.C, and is currently assigned there. 

Peter A. Gulotta, Jr., Special Agent 
Federal Bureau of investigation 

Special Agent Gulotta joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1969. He 
has t>een assigned to the Detroit Division, Washington Metropolitan Fiekl Offk:e, FBI 
Headquarters, and the Baltimore Oivisk>n. In addition to his assignments as a SA in ttte 
field woridng criminal, foreign counterintelligence and applicant matters, SA Gulotta has 
served in management as a Field Supervisor, a FBI Headquarters Supervisor, and 
Assistant Inspector, and Unit Chief in charge of FBI hiring. Prior to reporting to the Select 
Sutxx>mmittee he was assigned to drug investigations in the Baltimore Diviston of the FBI. 

Daniel F. Bradley, Special Agent 
Federal Bureau of Investigation 

Special Agent Bradley joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1986. He 
has t>een assigned to Phoenix, Arizona and Washington, D.C. He is currentiy a primary 
relief supervisory assigned to the Washington Field Office. 



The Select Subcommittee would like to express its appreciation to several 
Individuals who assisted our efforts during this investigation. 

At the CIA Sandy Chaloner of the Office of Congressional Affairs particularly 
deserves warm thanks for her hurdling of bureaucratic obstacles to get security clearances 
for Subcommittee staff in record time. Laurie Goodwin of the CIA's Directorate of 
Operations also deserves commendation for her cheerful accommodation of staff reaue?*s 
for access to CIA materials, frequently on short notice and at odd hours. 

Several indivkjuals at the Department of Defense also went well beyond the nomnal 
call of duty in helping with the staff clearance process. In particular, we thank Larry 
Shockley of the Office of Legislative Affairs and Gigi Blakes and Stephen OToole of the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense. 

The Select Subcommittee also expresses appreciation for the diligent work of the 
Capitol Hill Police, specifically Joseph W. Simpson and Penny Womack, who were 
instrumental in the processing of security requests. Also, the Police staff responsible for 
physKal and technk:al security were always immediately responsive to the Subcommittee's 
sometimes unpredictable needs for their services. 

The Subcommittee also wishes to thank the exceptk>nal job performed by the US 
House of Representatives Office of Offrcial Reporters. Not only dkJ they execute complete 
arKJ accurate transcripts, but they dkJ so in an extraordinarily timely fashion. The court 
reporters displayed a tremendous dedteatk>n to their wori(. a willingness to travel, and we 
are most grateftjl for their persistent efforts. The reporters were: Ray A. Boyum (chief 
reporter), Julie C. Bryan, Pamela L. Garland, Marcia D. Stein, and Joseph W. Strickland. 
The transcribers were: Angela F. Gallacher, Kathleen A Magmer, Jeanne S. Mayer, 
Bemita A. Partner, and Joyce A. Quintero. The Subcommittee also appreciates the 
patience and outstanding assistance exhibited by the reporters' chief cleric Jo Ann Hooks, 
who accommodated our ever-changing schedule with aplomb. 

The Select Subcommittee expresses its appreciatton to the House Permanent 
Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and the Senate Select Committee on 
Intelligence (SSCI) for generously sharing their information and materials with our staff 
during the course of our investigation. 


In the course of our investigation, the Select Subcommittee found it necessary to 
corxluct depositions and further investigation overseas. The Subcommittee especially 
thanks Roderick W. Moore, First Secretary, Embassy Zagreb, for his exceptk)nal 
assistance during the STAFFDEL to the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia. Likewise, the 
Sut)committee thanks John H. Winant, Second Secretary, Emt>assy Prague, for his 
assistance upon our arrival at the US Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Finally, the Select Subcommittee expresses enormous gratitude to the Chaimian 
Benjamin A. Oilman and the staff of the Committee on International Relatk^ns for their 
support and assistarK^e in conducting our investigatksn. We have prevk)usly mentk>ned 
those indivkluals most ctosely associated with our work but woukl also like to mentkjn 
Chief of Staff Rk:h Garon, Chief Counsel Stephen Rademaker, Professnnal Staff Members 
John Mackey, OavkJ Jung, Hillel Weinberg, and Administrative Director Nancy Bloomer. 

B. Correspondence 

^^^H %linttdj5taccB Senate 


i^til 9. 1996 

SSa# 96-U92-C 

Tbe Hooorable Wanes M Chris tnp hBf 
SecreUry of State 
Depanmeni of Slate 
Washington. D.C. 20S20 

Dear Mr. Secretaiy: 

On Aprils. 1996. Ite£0»liv<fa7im«iepertcd that "President ainioa secretly gave a 
gieeo Ught to covert Iruiaii armi sh^OKflU i«o Bosnia in 1994 despite a United Nations aims 
embargo that the United States was pledged 10 t^bold and the adiainistration's own policy of 
isolating Tehran globally as a sumncr of tenonsm." This leoer is to infonn you that the Senate 
Select ConuniBee on Inielligeaoe is '•""""^■'g today an inquity into alleged U^. suppoit for 
Iranian arms shipmeois to Bosnia. A list of quenioos of particular inierest to the cofluninee is 
attached for your information. 

The committee would appieciaftB receiving, by April 12. 1996. copies of all published 
intelligence since Januaiy 1. 1994. dealing with arms Oows into Bosnia and of all other statements 
on this matter that have been provided by an element of the U^. intelligence community under 
your jurisdiction u> any OMinber or commiitee of die United States Senate. We also request thai 
each element of the U..S. inMfligeocccommiiBiiy provide - by April IS. 1996. to the extent 

possible - any "-— Vuhrri "Mrn*' '"•"■ g on tto subject, such u cables, electrewk 

conesDondentx. internal mem oranda, minu fa 61 fl MiMi. leHeis, ana memoranoa to omcr 
— WMlM tu lalM B U pihnh Im hn eliflts thai flM y w^ «. W nu hiU aca jnteiujencr unauy. we 
requdtt ytMU g6upcratioo in maldag pehdhneravailaDle tor such uuervRwsroEpMRioos and 
lesiiinony as the committee may requite. 

Any questions regarding ds oomrainee's inquiry may be addressed to the committee's Staff 
Directors, its General Counsel or Mr. Edwatd Levine of the committee staff, who is leading the 
staff group handling this inquiry. 


Arkn Spectd^ I. Robert Kerrey 

rtiaiwMii Vice Chairman 



Ambassador Peter Galbraith Memo 


^ X 


II.LO* »tMt s(Fi^:/coi> ^ O.U. ^ItMO 

nctCAK I I occuiss»T 



^^^•••^••^B , 

iM Cmm OMy 

CO &!»«. igf.i.*vc- /-i-thj/dj 

Hay 6, 199« 

. TS auOnniv «D 


I I 0OWHea«gE TS Is t ) S or 1 

MeBorandua To tbc File 

During an April 29 eveninq aceting with ^, .-) 

and Ambassador VunOman, sought for the second / 1» C« 

ti»c U.S. advice as to whether Croatia should facilitate arms 
transfers fro» Islamic countries, principally Iran, to the 



In reply. 1 told that what 1 said the day before 
still stood, that I had no instructions froa Washington on how , 'Ml 
to advise on this issue. I urged to focus not ' 
only on what 1 had said yesterday, but on what I had not said. 

Ambassador Redman told "It is your 
decision to make. He don't want to be in the position of 
saying no." 





response to several requests for guidance, I was told by Sandy -. 

Vershbow / I (J J 

that I was to tell I did not 

have instructions at this time. On April 29, at 9:30 P.M.. in 
a conversation with Jennone Walker, Jennone conveyed a message 
from Tony Lake that my instructions were to say "I had no 
instructions" but that Tony had said this "with raised eyebrows 
and a smile." On April 30, Sandy-Vershbow again Cold me to ^ ^ij\ 

relay a no- instructions message to clearly drawing his ^'"/ 

attention to the idea we were not saying no. Finally, in a May 
2 telephone conversation. Ambassador Redman conveyed to me an 
instruction from Tony Lake that 1 not report the conversation "/i'' 

with In a May S conversation, Vershbow said, after I '■'> c. 

recounted Redman and »v conversation with that "you and 




Chuck have t«ken if exactly where we want to be" 



In a Hay 6 conversation with Deputy Secretary Talbott. 
Talbott said the instructions were no instructions 

I . 'hO 

explained that anything 
short of a SLoteaent that the Croats should not facilitate the 
Clow of Iranian arms to the Bosnians would be understood as a 
U.S. green light 



embargo . 

Talbott said we 
did not vant to be seen as undermining the / > (i^ ^ 


I told him of the order 
itot to report the April 29 conversation and asked if be 
wanted it reported. He said the answer is almost certainly 
yes, but Steve OMMn or Sandy Vershbow would be in tjTUCh. 


VPeter W. Galbraith 
Hay 6. 1994 

Tc the best of my knowledge, the facts in this statement 
**■• accurate. The conversations described herein were ,. 'f ^ 

recounted to me by Ambassador Galbraith, and in the case of the ' * - 

meeting by the notetaker shortly after 

they tcok olacc. 


* ..yj^^ y^^— 



Minority Views 

Select Subcommittee to Investigate 

the United States Role in 

Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia 

October 25, 1996 

Submitted by: 

Rq>. Lee Hamilton 
Rep. Howard Bennan 
Rep. Alcee Hastings 





to acconpany Minority Views, Select Subcommittee to Investigate 

the U^. Role In Iranian Arms Transfcn to Croatia and Bosnia 

NOTE: The following changes to cites are made to the Octoba 25, 1996 version of the Minority 
Views. The corrections are strictly technical in nature to conform to standard Bluebook format 
and in no wav alter the information already contained within the cite. The relevant foomote 
number is on the left; the corrected format follows. 

Chapter One, Section Two: The Umited States Policy Tofvard Bosnia 

1 U.S. Security Council Resolution 713, Sept 25, 1991. 

37 Hearing iwi Forrit.i Policy Overvi^-w hefore the .Senate Co-nmitt^ nn Foreign Rglahnns, 

103d Cong. 1 1-12 (June 30. 1994) (statement of Secretary of State Warren Christopher). 

41 Hearing nn 1 1 S Arrinnc Regarding Iranian Ann< Shiprntrntt into Rosnia hefnre the 

Senate Select romminef nn Intelligence 104th Cong. 21 (May 23, 1996) (sUtement of 
Deputy Secretary Strobe T albott) (hereinafter Talbot SSCI Statement"). 

43 Talbott SSCI Statement, at 30. 

46 Talbott SSCI Statement, at 36-37. 

SS Hearing on H S Action * Ri>gar»tin£ Iranian Arms Shipments into Rftsnia before the 

Swiate <if\f fA rnmmitte<> on Intelligence 104th CoQg. 48 (May 21, 1996) (sUtement of 

Assistant Secretary Richard Holbrooke) (hereinafter 'Holbrooke SSCI Statement"). 

75 Holbrooke SSC Statement, at 26. 

80 Talbott SSCI Statement, at 22. 

Chapter One, Section Four: PubUe and Congressional Knowtedge of Anns Flows 

32 Hearing on 1 1 S Action* B<»garrting Iranian Ann< Shipments into Romia before the 

Ronate Seliirt Pominiwi^ on Intelligence. I04di Coog. 37 (May 23. 1996) (statement of 
Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott) (bereinafter Talbott SSCI Statement'^. 

Cn^spler Ttt^a, Stction One: the No Instruedons Responu of April 1994 

6 Heanng nn Roml. h>.for^ rtte Hoii«^ P^rmanont Selert rnmmittee on Intelligence 104th 

Cong. 24 (May 30. 1996) (statement of Ambassador Peter Galbraith) (hereinafter 
"Ga»lb".-4ith HPSCI StatemenfO- 

1 V Hear-ng nn Iranian Arm* to Ro<nia before th^ Hnii*^ Pwmanent Select Committee on 

InieUigencc I04tb Cong. IS (June 6. 1996) (statement of Former Director. Central 
LntfiUigence R. James Wools^r) (hereinafter "Woolsey HPSCI Statement*0. 




Chapter Two, Section Two: Commueiieatioiis and M'acommunications at the CIA 

5 (In place of Woolsey HPSCI DqWSition at 1 5] Hearin g on Iranian Kmi to Rnt fiia. 

before the Hoiiw Permanent Select Coinmitt«^ nn tnt>||igfnrf i04th Cong. IS (June 6, 
1 996) (sUtement of Former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey) 
(hereinafter "Woolsey HPSCI Statement"). 

Chapter Two, Section Four: The May 1994 Convoy 

7 Testimony to suffof the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 104th Cong (May 

31,1 996) (SUtement of Jane Green). 

Chapter Two, Section Six: Mystery Flights into Tuzla 

25 Testimony to suffof the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 104th Cong. 27-28 
(statement of Col. Richard Herricic) (hereinaAer "Henick SSCI SUtement"). 

Chapter Two, Section Seven: Thefam^pfissile Incident 

33 Hearing on Actions Regarding Iranian Arms .Shipm^ft into Bn«mia h<-fnrf th>; Sm atr 

Select Comminrf! nn Intf.lligence. 104th Cong. 80 (May 21. 1996) (sutement of Assistant 
Secretary Richard Holbrooke) (hoeinafler "Holbrooke SSCI SUtement"). 

41 Holbrooke SSCI Statement at 84; Clark Subcommittee Dep. at S3; Clark SSCI Dep at 

48 Clark Subcommittee Dep. at S6; Holbrooke SSCI Sutement at 86. 

SO Clark Subcommittee Dep. at S8-S9; Holbrooke SSCI Sutement at 87, 88. 

53 Holbrooke SSCI Statement at 87; etc. 

55 Hearing on Romia hefnrp rti*; HmKy PiTmangnt S^l«-rt rommitti^^ nn Tntglligfnr^ 1 04th 

Cong. 22 (May 30, 1996) (statement of Ambassador Peter Galbraith) (hereinafter 
"Galbraith HPSCI StatemenO- 

36 Galbraith HPSCI Statement tf 22. 

82 Galbraith HPSCI Statement at 22; Kehon Dep. at 105. 

102 Galbraith Select Subcommittee Dep. at 187-I88:GaIbraidi HPSCI Statement at 22. 

Chapter Two, Section Eight: The FaO 1994 IniSatne 

2 Hearing nn I I.S. Action.< Regarding Iranian Aims Shipmmts into Rnc n ia h^fniy th^ 

Senate Selmt Cnrnmiltee rni Intelligeace. 104th Cong. 35 (May 21. 1996) (sutement of 
Assistant Secretary Richard Holbrodce) (hereinafter "Holbrooke SSCI Statement"). 



Select Subcomminee Organization and Structure i 

Legislative History 
Legislative Mandate 

Treatment of Confidential and Classified Information 

Summary of Key Findings and Conclusions 

Summary of the Investigation 

The Situation on the Ground in the Spring of 1994 

The International Political Situation in the Spring of 1994 

The United States Policy in the Spring of 1994 

The April 28 and 29 Meetings 

The Actions of the U.S. Ambassador to Zagreb with respect to Senior 

Government of Croatia Officials 
The Summer of 1994 
The Fall of 1994 
Communications between the Ambassador Galbraith and the Embassy 

Zagreb InteUigence Station Prior to April 28, 1994 
The Lines of Conununication between the Senior Intelligence Official at 

Embassy Zagreb and Headquarters 
The Consequences of FaiUng to Inform Adequately the Senior Intelligence 

Officer in Embassy Zagreb 
The Role of the Deputy Chief of Mission 
The Conununications between the Ambassador and the Senior Intelligence 

Officer in Embassy Zagreb 
The Communications in May 1994 between the Senior Officials of the 

Department of State, the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence 

Consultations in Fall 1994 between the Senior Officials of the Department 

of State, the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency 
Congressional Action 
Specific Shipments of Arms 


Section One 

Setting the Stage, The Balkan War 1 

1991-1992: War Erupts and the International Reaction 



1992-1993: Bosnia Enters the War 

1993-1994; Clinton's Bosnian Policy and the Muslim-Croat War 

Negotiating the Federation Agreement 

The Effects of the Strategic Military Imbalance Between the Waning Factions 

1995: The Road to Dayton 

Section Two 

The United States Policy Toward Bosnia 30 

The Bush Administration's Approach 

President Clinton's Push to Lifl the Embargo ~ 1993 

The Croatian Question — 1993 

A Call to Action in Bosnia 

Securing the Federation Agreement 

Pressure to Lift the Embargo 

The Croatian Question ~ 1994 

The Downside ~ Iran 

The Allies 

Additional British Concerns 

Reaction to Unilateral Lift and to Nunn-Mitchell 

Results of United States Policy 

Why the Policy Worked 

Section Three 

The Role of Congress 60 

Congressional action on the arms embargo 

The Nunn-Mitchell Amendment 

A Continuing Push to Lift the Embargo - 1995 

Section Four 

Public and Congressional Knowledge of Arms Flows 69 

Public Statements by the Administration 

Public information 

Intelligence information 


Congressional Delegation Trips/Staff Delegation Trips to Croatia and Bosnia 

Congressional Knowledge of the Diplomatic Exchange 

Section Five 

A Legal Discussion of Covert Action 84 

The Executive Branch Did Not Violate the Law 

History of Covert Action Requirements. 

The No Instructions Respo nse did n ot Constitute Covert Action. 

Neither the Convoy Nor th jHBVMissile Incident Constituted Covert Action 

The Executive Branch was not Un3er a Legal Duty to Report the "No Instructions" 



Executive Branch OfTicials Should Have Disclosed the "No Instnictions" Response to 


The "No Instructions" Response did not Violate International Law 


Section One 

No Instructions Policy of April 1994. 106 

Weeks Preceding President Tudjman's Question Presentation of the Question to 
Ambassador Galbraith 

The Question is Posed to Embassy Zagreb Personnel 
Contacts with the United States Defense Attache 
Events of April 27 and April 28, 1994 

Deputy Assistant Secretary Vershbow Discusses the Matter with the 

Ambassador Galbraith Consults with his 
Policy Makers Debate and Formulate a Response to the Croatian Inquiry: Air 

Force One Discussions 
Ambassador Galbraith Receives "No Instructions" and Responds to the Croatian 
Events of April 29, 1994: The Question is Posed Again 

Ambassador Galbraith Contacts the NSC for Final Guidance 
The April 29. 1994 Tudjman Meeting 
The Decision to Report Orally to Washington 

Other Events of April 30, 1994 
Events of Early May 1994: The Days Following the "No Instructions" Response 

Section Two 

Communications and Miscommunications at the CIA 155 

Discoimects at the CIA Leading up to and Subsequent to the May 5, 1994 Meeting 

Ambassador Galbraith's Request to theglHHIHVP 

Central Intelligence Agency Concern about Covert Activity 

The May 5, 1994 Meeting between DCI Woolsey and Secretary Christopher: 

Clarification is Sought 

May 5, 1994 in Zagreb 

Deputy Secretary Talbott Contacts Ambassador Galbraith to Reiterate the "No 

Instructions" Response 

Ambassador Galbraith Memorializes the Croatian Inquiry 

A Pattern of Disconnects at the CIA 

Disconnect Between the DiMMarfof Central Intelligence and the Deputy Secretary of 

Disconnect Between the Director of Central Intelligence and His Subordinates 



Disconnect at the CIA and the Af\ermath of the May S Meeting 
Disconnects Relating to the Law of Covert Action 
Leaving thefPHMlBlipin the Dark 
Summer 1994 at the CL\ 

Section Three 

Department of Defense and the April 29 Response 184 

Information Available to the Department of Defense 

The Department of Defense Learns of the April Inquiries 

After the No Instructions Response: The Department of Defense Changes Nothing 

ThefChief of StatioillReports Department of Defense "Concern" 

Rumors that the Umted States was Involved in Covert Action 

Section Four 

The May 1994 Convoy Incident. 194 

Convoys to Bosnia. 

The May 1994 Convoy and Embassy Zagreb. 

Special Envoy Redman's Contacnvith the May Convoy. 

Reporting by the 

Section Five 

Alleged Meetings between Ambassador Galbraith and the Muslim Cleric Omerbasic . . 206 

Vis its with the Imam 

The^HHBBI^Tries to Identify the United States Officials, but Jumps to 

A Case of Mistaken Identification 

Section Six 

Mystery Flights into Tuzia 216 

The NATO Investigation 

Attempts by United States and Other Officials to Investigate Flights 

Section Seyen 

The§fKt§MissUe Incident 223 

Media Reports of the Missile Inspection and Informal Investigation by the Intelligence 

Oversight Board 
Intelligence During the Sprin g and Summer 1995 
Initial Shipments of|m||pMissiles 
The Third Shipment and United States Involvement 

Assistant Secretary Holbrooke and General Clark are Approached About the Missiles 
Defense Minister Susak Requests Assistance from Ambassador Galbraith 
The Initial Missile Inspectio n by the Defense^ ttache 
The Second Inspection at thelHHHUlS Request 
The Croatians Arrange to Release the Missiles 



There is No Evidence to Suggest that Ambassador Galbraith Influenced the Release of 

the Missiles 
The Lack of Impact Made by thel 

Section Eight 

The Fall 1994 Initiative 245 

Sus picions Within the CIA 
The CIA Ceadership's Response 
The Directorate of Operation's Concerns 

Section Nine 

Intelligence Oversight Board 271 

Purpose of the Intelligence Oversight Board 
Intelligence Oversight Board Investigation 


Section One 

Iranian Involvement in Bosnia and Croatia 1991-1996 275 

Origins of Iranian Military Involvement 

Military Arms 

Military Personnel Deployment 

Humanitarian Aid 

Diplomatic Activities 

Intelligence Activities 

Economic Support Activities 

Iranian Influence Following the Dayton Agreement 

Iranian Failure to Achieve its Objectives in Bosnia 

Section Two 

The Threat of Terrorism to Embassy Zagreb Personnel 294 

Iranian Terrorist Presence in Bosnia 
. Iranian Tenorist Presence in Croatia 

1993 Terrorist Incident 

1995 Terrorist Threat 

Embassy Zagreb Response 

Current Status of Iranian Terrorist Threat 


Section Three 

IFOR Deployment and Potential Risks to United States Troops and Personnel. 308 

Mission of IFOR 

Clinton Administration Support for United States Troops in IFOR 

Congressional Action on Troop Deployment 

Information to Congress on Troop Deployment 

Dayton Agreement Provisions to Protect IFOR 




Section One 

Response to the Majority Report 317 

Referrals to the Department of Justice 
The Rules of Classified Information 
The Rules of Executive Privilege 


Appendix A : Key Names 
Appendix B: Acronyms 

Appendix C: Depositions and Interviews Conducted by the Select Subcommittee 
Appendix D: Selected Congressional Action Relating to the United Nations Arms Embargo 
Appendix E: National Intelligence Daily Articles 

Appendix F: Selected List of Major Press Articles Regarding Leaks in the U.N. Aims Embargo 
Appendix G: Foreign Broadcast Information Services Reporu of Increasing Ties between the 
Organization of the Islamic Conference and Bosnia 




On May 8, 1996. the United States House of Representatives voted to establish and fund 

the Select Subcommittee on the United States Role in Iranian Anns Transfers to Croatia and 
Bosnia (the ""Select Subcommittee"). The Select Subcommittee was authorized to investigate 
and report on all aspects of United States government policy regarding shipments of arms and 
other assistance from Iran to the countries of the former Yugoslavia from September 21, 1991 
until June 1996. the period in which an international arms embargo was in effect for the region. 
The scope of the investigation included the impact, if any, of such policy upon the safety and 
presence of United States troops stationed in and around Bosnia, the relations between the United 
States and its allies, and upon United States efforts to isolate Iran. 

In addition, the Select Subcommittee was authorized to investigate and report on 
communications and representations to the people and the Congress of the United States 
regarding such policy, the international arms embargo and United States participation in the 
international aims embargo. Finally, the Select Subconmiiitee was authorized to determine what 
actions were taken to review any of these matters or. conversely, to cover up such matters. In 
order to rqx>rt its findings, the Select Subcommittee was empowered to review all relevant 
deliberatioiis, discussions, and/or conununications within die United States Govenunent as well 
as all conununications between the United States Government and other governments, 
organizations, or individuals. 

The following Miitority Views to the report of the Select Subcomminee are based upon a 
thorough review of thousands of pages of classified and unclassified materials made available by 
the Departments of State and Defense (including the National Security Agency), the Central 


Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council as well as press reports, materials 
prepared by Congressional Research Service, and other material in the public domain. In 
addition, the staff of the Select Subcommittee interviewed and deposed approximately seventy 
current or former employees of these agencies as w :!! as two foreign nationals. The Minority 
wishes to thank the individuals who were deposed and interviewed as well as the many 
employees of the United States Government agencies who spent countless hour: identifying and 
making available relevant documents. In addition, the Minority w ishes to thank the investigators 
detailed to the Select Subcommittee by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their invaluable 
assistance. ' : - 

Select Subcommittee Organization and Structure. 

Legislative History. 

On May 2, 1996, the Committee on International Relations (the "Committee") reported 
House Resolution 416 creating the Select Subcommittee of the Comminee on International 
Relations to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Aims Transfers to Bosnia and Croatia. 
The Committee also reported House Resolution 416 which, as amended, esublished a budget of 
S99S,000 to be used cither until the Select Subcommittee ceased to exist or immediately before 
noon on Januaiy 3, 1997, whichever first occurs.' 

Legislative Mandate. 

House Resolution 416 charged the Select Subcomminee with investigating the following: 

•H. Res. 417. May 2, 1996. 


( 1 ) The policy of the United States Government with respect to the transfer of arms 
and other assistance from Iran or any other country to countries or entities within the territory of 
the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the "FRY") during any period that an international 
arms embargo of the former Yugoslavia was in effect. 

(2) The nature and extent of the transfer of arms or other assistance from Iran or any 
other country to countries or entities within the territory of the FRY during the period that an 
intemational arms embargo was in effect 

(3) .\ny actions taken by the United States Government to facilitate or impede 
transfers described in the preceding paragraphs. 

(4) Any conununications or representations made to the Congress of the United States 
or the American people with respect to the matters described in the preceding paragraphs w ith 
respect to the intemational arms embargo of the FRY, or with respect to efforts to modify or 
terminate United States participation in that embargo. 

(5) Any implication of the maners described in the first three paragraphs for the 
safety of United States Armed Forces deployed in and around Bosnia, for the prompt withdrawal 
of United States Armed Forces from Bosnia, for relations between the United States and its 
allies, and for United Sutes efforts to isolate Iran. 

(6) Any actions taken to review, analyze, or investigate any of the matters described 
in the preceding paragraphs, or to keep such matters from being revealed. 

(7) All deliberations, discussions, or communications within the United States 
Government relating to matters described in the preceding paragraphs, and all conununications 
between the United States Government (or any of its officers or employees) and other 



governments, organizations, or individuals relating to such matters.* 

House Resolution 416 contains a sunset provision providing for the conclusion of the 
Select Subcommittee investigation and submission of its flnal report within six months of the 
passage of the resolution, or November 8. 1996. 

Treatment of Confidential and Oassified Infitrmation. 

The Select Subcommittee investigation of United States policy and actions in the FRY 
includes fact-finding vtith respect to policy deliberations, intelligence gathering (including 
sources and methods), highly sensitive confidential communications between the United States 
Government and the governments of other nations, and equally privileged communications 
among United Sutes Government officials. The Minority believes the utmost care must be taken 
to avoid disclosure of confidential communications between United States and foreign 
government officials, policy deliberations within the United States government involving senior 
officials in communication with the President, and the sources and methods of intelligeiKe 
gathering. For this reason, the Minority has prepared this Executive Summary in a non-classified 
format which will be supplemented by extended Minority Views in a classified fonnat The 
Miitority also has rejected the view, espoused by some, dut disclosure of highly confidential or 
classified information in the media and/or in Congressional hearings places such information in 
the public domaiiL Advancing such a view provides leakers of sensitive and classified 
informiition with the key to imlock such information at their own discretioru and robs the United 
States Government of its legitimate interest in protecting such information. Notwithstanding the 

-H. Res. 416, May 2, 1996. at 2-4. 


need lo protect material which is desening of protection, the Minonty expects the Lnited Slates 
Government to exercise the classified application only in cases where the laws and executive 
orders clearly apply and to refrain from keeping material classified which is merely 


The central issues of the Select Subcommittee investigation include whether the United 
States Government ordered, organized or otherw ise encouraged Iran or any other country to ship 
arms to Bosnia; whether the United States Go\ emment provided a foothold for Iranian 
operations in Europe; whether the United States Government engaged in coven action without 
meeting the legal requirement to inform Congress; and how United States policy regarding the 
anns embargo affected United States relations with the NATO allies. 

The consequences of United States policy are not in dispute. In 1994. Bosnia was 
embroiled in a brutal war that threatened to spill over to other parts of Europe. United States 
leadership helped bring an end to the fighting among the Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs, to 
the rape and torture, to the mass executions, and to the sniper attacks on civilians; it has helped 
create the conditions to build a new Bosiuan state, and stopped the war from spreading. In early 
1994, hundreds of Iranians were present in Bosnia and Croatia. Today, the Iranian fighters have 
been forced out. 

Based upon the Select Subconunittee investigation, the Minority finds that: 

/. From the outset of the Clinton Administration, it was United Slates policy neither lo 
oppose nor support third party arms transfers to Bosnia-Herzegovina. This policy tvas 
embodied In the "no instructions" response to the Croatian Government's question on the 



United Stales view on the transshipment of arms. It served several important United Slates 
interests, and helped establish conditions on the ground that pointed the way to peace. 

• During the entire period in which the United Nations amis embargo against the former 
Yugoslavia was in effect (September 1991 tt June 1996). United States policy was to 
refrain fix>m supplying arms to any party in the former Yugoslavia. 

• Pursuant to U.N. Security Council resolutions, the United States agreed i" 1992 to 
participate with its allies in Operation Sharp Guard for the primary purpose of 
interdicting contraband destined for Serbia. 

• Beginning in Januar.- 'WT, following the inauguration of President Clinton, United - * 
States policy was neither to oppose nor support the shipment of arms to the Government 
of Bosnia-Herzegovina from other countries, including Iran. 

• In November 1994, following enactment of the Nunn-Mitchell amendment. United States 
ofTicials informed United States allies that the United States would participate in 
Operation Sharp Guard for the sole purpose of interdicting contraband destined for 
Serbia. In compliance with the Nunn-Mitchell amendmenu the United States would take 
no action to interdict arms destined for Bosnia or Croatia. 

• The "no instuM-tions'' policy served important United Sutes interests: the outgunned 
Bosnian Muslims received anns that helped them survive until such time as the 
circumstances were ripe for a negotiated peace; the United States avoided a confrontation 
with NATO; the peacekeeping force and humanitarian aid workers remained in Bosnia; 
no United States ground troops were forced into a combat situation; and the conditions 
were established that paved the way to the Dayton Peace Accords in November 1995. 



//. Throughout the period of the Vnited Sations arms embargo, Iran and other Islamic 
countries supplied arms to the Bosnians. 

• During the entire period of the United Nations arms embargo against the former 
Yugoslav ii all parties to the conflict in Bosnia received arms shipments in violation of 
the embargo. 

• During the entire period of the United Nations arms embargo, the Bosnian Serb military 
arsenal dwarfed that of the Bosnian Muslims and Croats. 

• Beginning in 1991. several Islamic countries, including Iran, began supplying arms to the 
Bosnian Muslim forces 

• The supph of arms to the Bosnian Muslims declined from summer 1993 to spring 1994 
due to the war between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croat forces. 

• The suppl\ of arms to the Bosnian Muslims increased in spring 1994 due to the 
Federation .Agreement to end the war between the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat 
forces, and the delivery of the "no instructions" response. 

• The number of Iranians in Bosnia peaked before the spring of 1 994. remained constant 
until the Dayton Peace Accords, and subsequently declined to the handful that is present 

///. The L'nited States took no action to aid arms transfers to the former Yugoslavia. 

• At no time did any United States government official take any action to supply arms to 
any countr\- or entity covered by the U.N. arms embargo. 

• At no time did any United States government official undertake any covert action to 
supply arms to any country or entity covered by the embargo, or to ericourage, aid or 



assist in the shipment or transfer of arms to any country in the former Yugoslavia. 

• The proposal to expand the pipeline of arms destined for Bosnia through Croatia 
originated with Bosnian and Croatian Government officials in the wake of signing the 
Federation Agreement in March 1994. 

• No United States Government official coordinated, cooperated, conspired with or 
suggested to the Bosnian Muslims, the Govenunent of Croatia, or the Bosnian Croats that 
the United States be asked to state its view of the transshipment of arms. 

• United States Government officials directed Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith to 
respond that he had "no instructions" when asked for the reaction of the United States 
government to the transshipment of arms through Croatia to Bosnia by the government of 

• Ambassador Galbraith carried out his directions correctly and promptly. 

• The "no instructions" response achieved United States objectives and was consistent with 
United States policy: the shipment of arms to Bosnia was not obstructed, the U.N. 
Security Council Resolution was not violated, and serious conflict with the allies was 

IV. The United States Government did not engage in any covert action and was not 
legatty required to inform Congress of its diplomatic exchanges with governments in the 
region. However, Congress should have been better informed about the "no instructions" 

• Information about the shipment ofanns by Iran and other Islamic countries through 
Croatia to Bosnia was made available to Members of Congress on dozens of occasions 



through press reports, intelligence reports, briefings, and in connection with stafTand 
Congressional travel to Croatia. 

• The Administration responded accurately to every question from Congress about the 
shipment of arms to Bosnia from Iran and did not set out to mislead Members of 

• As a policy matter, however, the Administration chose not to inform Congress about the 
delivery of the "no instructions" response.' 

• The "no instructions" response to the question posed by the Government of Croatia was a 
traditional diplomatic exchange. 

• The Administration does not routinely disclose to Congress sensitive diplomatic 
exchanges between ambassadors and foreign governments. 

• The failure of the Administration to inform Congress formally about the exchange among 
Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman and a senior official of the 
Government of Croatia is not a violation of United States law. 

• As a matter of policy, the Administration should have considered informing selected 
Members of Congress about the delivery of the "no instructions" response. 

V. The Impact of the Iranian arms shipments on the security of United States military 
anil civiiian personnel was minimal 

' The Select Subcommittee was told by one former Member of Congress that he was 
informed about the "no instructions" response at a routine intelligence briefing. It appears that 
the briefer was acting independently. The relevant intelligence agency has no record that such a 
briefing occurred. Senior Administration policy makers were not aware of this particular 
briefing or that information regarding the "no instructions" response had been shared with any 
Member of Congress. 



• Any threat to United Sutes militar> and civilian personnel in the region arose from the 
presence of Iranians and not the shipment of arms, and Iranians had been present in 
Bosnia since 1991. 

• The United States did not commit ground forces to Bosnia in any significant numbers 
until afier the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed in November 1995. 

• The Da>ion Peace Agreement required the removal of alt foreign forces from Bosnia, 
including organizations and individuals associated with Iran and other terrorist states, and 
made the United States commitment to "equip and train" the Bosnians conditional upon 
compliance with the "foreign force removal" requirement.  . 

• The President has certified that Bosnia is in compliance with this requirement, and that 
Iranian and other foreign forces are present in insignificant numbers only. 

• The United States continues to pursue all other avenues to isolate Iran from the world 

• With respect to the safety of United Sutes military and civilian personnel in Croatia 
during the period in which the arms embargo was in effect, the United States and 
Embassy Zagreb maintained a high degree of awareness of terrorist threats through 
regular Emergency Action Comminee (**EACr) meetings, demarches to the Government 
of Croatia to expel terrorists and otherwise assure the safety of United States personnel, 
and intense monitoring of possible teirorist activity. 

VI. The impact of the Iratiian anms shipments oh United States-Allied Relations 

• United States allies were aware that the United States bad been looking the other way 
regarding arms shipments from third countries to Bosnia; therefore, the "no instructions** 



response was a continuation of policies that already were tolerated. 

• The allies were particularly concerned that hea\7 weapons and artiller>' not be transferred 
to Bosnia and the United States Government was confident that Croatia would not permit 
heavy weapons to be transshipped. 

• United States, NATO, and other allied forces are serving side by side in IFOR and 
working together to implement the civilian aspects of the Dayton Accords. 

Vll. The Executive Branch has acted properly in reviewing actions by United States officials 
and in responding to inquiries froir Congress concerning the arms transfers. 

• At the request of the White House Counsel, the Intelligence Oversight Board (the "lOB") 
investigated concems raised by the Central Intelligence Agency about possible covert 
action and reported to the President that no United States official had participated in 
covert action. 

 The lOB cooperated with the Select Subcommittee, consistent with the pri\-ileged nature 

of its investigation. 

• The National Security Council, the Departments of State and Defense (including the 
National Sectirity Agency), and the Central Intelligence Agency cooperated with the 
Select Subconuninee, consistent with the need to protect privileged informatioiL 

• No attempt has been made by any oflicial of the United Sutes Government to conceal 
any information that would be relevant to the investigation. 

yill. Lapses in communication and coordination among United States government officials in 
Zagreb and Washington led to confusion and erroneous impressions about United States 



policy among some United States government officials. 

• The "no instructions'* response to a senior Croatian Government ofTicial was deliberated 
and formulated by the senior policy makers of the Department of State and the National 
Security Council over a seventy-two hour period during which direct communications 
occurred among the President; the Secretary of State, the Deput> Secretary of State and 
the Undersecretary of State; the National Security Adviser and the Deputy National 
Security Adviser, and the United States Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia and the 
United States Ambassador to Croatia on the ground in Zagreb. 

• The "no instructions'* response as well as the report confirming its delivery was conveyed 
orally in order to keep to an absolute minimum the number of people with knowledge of 
the response. 

• All govemment-to-govemment communications between the United States Government 
and the Government of Croatia were carried out correctly. 

• Miscommunication between an intelligettce conununity representative (an "ICR") in 
Croatia ano^pmeadquarters led to inaccurate conclusions about the actions of the 

United States policy makers and to unfounded suspicions 

Incorrect legal advice provided bjMHneadquarters to an ICR in Croatia caused an ICR 

to form inaccurate legal conclusions about the actions of United States policy makers 

• Inadequate supervision and guidance of an ICR in Croatia b}^|fheadquaiters led to the 
reporting of ^peculation and gossip in lieu of intelligence. 

• The CIA was informed contemporaneously about United Sutes policy with regard to the 
aims embargo and the "no instructions" response. 

• Communications between die senior officials of the Department of State and the Central 



Intelligence Agency concerning the United States policy with regard to the arms embargo 
lapsed in April/May 1994 and September/October W94. 

• Senior officials in the Department of State and the National Security Council were not 
aware that certain officials within the Central Intelligence Agency had an imperfect 
understanding of United States policy with regard to the arms embargo. 

• Discussions of options for providing arms to the Bosnian Muslims v u an appropriate 
and responsible course of action by officials of the United States Government. 

• The United States Government considered and rejected the option of asking third 
countries to supply zvm^ to the Bosnian Muslims on the grounds that it would be 
discovered by our NATO allies and could trigger a negative response including the 
withdrawal of the United Nations Protections Force tthe "UNPROFOR"), and the 
commitment of United States troops to a combat situation. 

The Situation on the Ground in the Spring of 1994. 

Iranians and other nationals from Islamic countries have been present in Bosnia since at 
least 1991, providing military and intelligence training as well as armed support During the 
same period of dme, shipments of light aims also reached Bosnia from Iran and other Islamic 

The humanitarian, political and military circumstances facing the Govenunent of Bosnia- 
Herzego\'ina (hereinafter '•Bosnia" or the "Bosnian government") and its citizens in the spring of 
1994 were dire, especially in the war against the Bosnian Serbs. The enclave of Gorazde was 
under siege. The capital of Sarajevo was entirely surrounded by hostile Bosnian Serb forces that 



regularly subjected the residents to sniper attacks, cut such city scrv ices as electricity and other 
utilities, and commandeered humanitarian relief shipments intended for the star\ing population. 

For the preceding twelve months, the Bosnian .Muslims had been in a state of war with 
the Bosnian Croats. Since Bosnia-Herzegovina is accessible only by air or by overland routes 
through Serbian or Croatian controlled territory, the war with the Bosnian Croats who were 
supported by their Croat brothers in Zagreb made it difTicult for the Bosnian Muslims to obtain 
either humanitarian assistance or military shipments. 

On March 22, 1994, Bosnian Muslims and Croats signed the United Stales-brokered 
Federation Agreement. The Frdesation Agreement had political, militai> and humanitarian -. - 
significance. The Agreement established the peace between the Bosnian Muslims and the 
Bosnian Croats that was the necessary first step toward a more comprehensive settlement; freed 
the Muslim and Croat armed forces to direct their attention toward the Bosnian Serbs; and 
substantially reduced the potential of further human rights violations by the Bosnian Croats and 
Croatians against the Bosnian Muslims. Perhaps most important, the March 1994 Federation 
Agreement provided the potential for changing the military and political situation in Bosnia by 
creating a unified military front against the aggression of the Bosnian Serbs. 

The International Political Situation in the Spring of 1994. 

United Nations Security Council Resolution 713 of Sqrtember 1991 imposed a legal 
obligation upon each member nation of the U.N. to respect the aims embargo against tbe 
countries of the FRY. By contrast, subsequent U.N. Security Council resolutions that addressed 
enforcement of the arms embargo (Resolutions 740 and 787) "called upon" each member nation 
to enforce the arms embargo against other nations, but did not impose a legal obligation to do so. 



The United States allies opposed a multilateral lifting of the amis embargo against the 
Bosnian Muslims and. through political statements as well as through diplomatic and militar>' 
channels, informed the United States that a unilateral lifting of the embargo by the United States 
would cause the withdrawal of European ground forces participating in UNPROFOR. 

The arms embargo was not seamless. Throughout the war. aims reached all three 
combatants. The level of arms shipped to Serbia together with those already in the Serb . 
inventory dwarfed the arms shipped to Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims, both of which had no 
meaningful armed forces prior to the war. The level of arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims 
from 1992 through spring 1994 was :olerat'ed by man\ of the participants in UNPROFOR and at 
least some nations that subsequently became members of the Contact Group. 

The United States Policy in the Spring of 1 994. 

The United States Government policy toward the conflict in the former Yugoslavia 
changed in January 1993 with the inauguration of the Clinton Administration. In contrast to the 
previous Administration, the Clinton Administration supported the multilateral lifting of the arms 
embargo against the Bosnian Muslims in combination with allied air strikes against the Bosnian 
Serbs (the so-called "lift and strike" policy). 

However, the United States Government also was committed to actions and policies that 
reduced to a minimum the potential for a withdrawal of UNPROFOR from Bosnia. A 
withdrawal would have exposed the Bosnian Muslim military and civilian population to a greater 
risk of death and destruction, created a huroaiutarian and military vacuum which United States 
troops might have been forced to fill, and precipitated a commitment of United States troops to 
Bosnia to help extract the troops of the NATO allies serving with UNPROFOR. To this end, the 



United States Government participated in Operation Sharp Guard and abided by the arms 
embargo. In contrast to the previous Administration, the United States neither objected to nor 
endorsed arms shipments to Bosnia. 

The United States Congress began an extended debate that intensified in the spring of 
1994 on ways to help the Bosnian Muslims survive. Members of Congress knew the likelihood 
of a multilateral lifting of the embargo was slim. Therefore, the central issue in the debate was 
whether the United States should lift the arms embargo against the Bosnian Muslims unilaterally. 

The Events of March and April 1974, 

The Federation Agreement led the Bosnian Muslims to hope that given the new peace 
with die Bosnian Croats, they could convince the Croatians to permit the transshipment of 
greater quantities of desperately needed arms through Croatia to Bosnia. The Administration and 
the United States Government were committed to providing military assistance to the Bosnian 
Muslims in die event diat the arms embargo was lifted multilaterally. Many Meml>ers of 
Congress thought the need to save die Bosnian Muslims was so critical that it outweighed any 
tensions widi the allies. 

In mid-April 1994, various senior officials of the Government of Croatia indicated to 
United States Govenunent officials at Embassy Zagreb that the United States would be asked 
about the United States Government position on die transshipment of arms across Croatian-held 
tenitoiy to the Bosnian Muslims. The question was prompted by the efforts of the Bosnian 
Muslims to take advantage of tbe Federation Agreement which the Bosnian Muslims expected 
would make die Government of Croatia and the Bosnian Croats taan willing to let aims reach 
tbe Bosnian Muslims. 



The April 28 and 29 Meetings. 

The question posed by the Government of Croatia to Ambassador Galbraith was what the 
reaction of the L'nited States Government would be if the Croatian government allowed arms to 
be transshipped to Bosnia. The response was formulated by the senior policy makers of the State 
Department and the National Security Council over a seventy-t^^•o hour perod during which 
direct communications occurred among the President, Deputy Secretary of State Talbott and 
National Security Ad\ isor Lake who were en route to California aboard Air Force One to attend 
the ftmeral of former President Nixon; Secretary of State Christopher w ho was in Egypt fc 
meetings with President Mubarak; Undersecretary of State Tamoff who was serving as Acting 
Secretary in the absence of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary; and Deputy National Security 
Adviser Berger who was in Washington. 

The options for responding included telling the Government of Croatia that the United 
States would not object to shipments by third countries, that the United States disapproved of the 
transshipment of arms through Croatia and would enforce the United Nations arms embargo 
against third countries strenuously, or telling the Government of Croatia that the United States 
Ambassador to Croatia had "no instructions." The fir^t alternative would risk unduly United 
States relations with its allies. NATO members with troops serving with UNPROFOR 
adamantly opposed a lifting of the embargo as well as any United States role in ensuring that 
arms reached Bosnia. Any hint of United S*'>tes approval of arms shipments might threaten an 
UNPROFOR withdrawal. 

The second alternative meant that the United States was taking an active step to deny 
weapons to the beleaguered Bosnians. It also would undermine and perh^s destroy the 



Federation Agreement. In selecting the third altemati\ e. the policy makers were informed fully 
of the likelihood that the "no instructions" response would be treated by the Goxemment of 
Croatia as a signal that the United States did not object to the arms transshipment, and that Iran 
was likely to be one of the primary arms suppliers. The policy makers also believed that the "no 
instructions" response to the Government of Croatia was a traditional diplomatic exchange with 
respect to which no Presidential fmding was required. 

The "no instructions" response represented a continuation of United Slates policy in 
effect since early 1993 to refrain from objecting to arms transshipments to Bosnia. For example, 
m April 1993, the Croatian D^fetKe Minister asked United States Special Envoy to the Form:;-- 
Yugoslavia Reginald Bartholomew for the United States reaction to transshipments of arms (the 
identical question asked of United States Ambassador Galbraith one year later). Special Envoy 
Bartholomew responded that it was a decision for Croatians to make, and the United States had 
no position on the transshipment of arms. 

The Actions of the United States Ambassador to Croatia with respect to Senior 
Government of Croatia Officials. 

Ambassador Galbraith correctly carried out the direction he received from senior State 
Department and Naticnal Security Council staff with respect to die question posed by the senior 
official of the Goveniment of Croatia. Prior to delivering tiie message. Ambassador Galbraith 
thoroughly and accurately briefed senior State Department and National Security Council 
officials on the benefits and risks of the various options available for responding to the question 
posed by the senior official of the Government of Croatia. 

Ambassador Galbraith acted appropriately in offering his recommendation of the correct 
response, but did not let his personal view undermine a fair and objective rendering of the 



benefits and risks of the various options available for responding to the question posed by the 
senior ofTicial of the Government of Croatia. At no time, either before communicating the 
question to senior State Department and National Security Council officials, or after transmitting 
the response to the senior official of the Government of Croatia did the Ambassador either 
exceed his directions or act inconsistently with the obligations of the United States under the 
U.N. Security Council Resolutions. 

The Summer of 1994. 

' Begiruiing in May 1994 and continuing throughout the summer of 1994, the shipment of 
arms from primarily Islamic countries across Croatian-held territory to the Bositian Muslims 
increased. Media reports and United States intelligence reporting revealed the extent and nature 
of the arms shipments as well as the sources of the arms. The shipments consisted solely of light 
arms and at no time included heavy weapons or artiller\°. 

The allies were aware of the arms shipments, but issued no demarches or other formal 
protests to the Croatian government, the United States government, or the governments 
supplying weapons to Bosrua. The acquiescence of the allies was due in part to the fact that the 
shipments of light weapons did not constitute a serious threat to the allied troops serving in 
UNPROFOR. The British indicated that shipments of heavy weapons would cause serious 
concern because they posed a risk to British troops. United States policy makers were aware that 
Croatia effectively controlled the type, quantity and quality of the we!q>ons that would be 
allowed to reach Bosnia, and that Croatia was unlikely to allow the transshipment of heavy 
weapons that could be used against Croatian forces. 



The Fall of 1994. 

In September 1994, senior ofTicials of the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina 
approached senior officials of the United States government with a proposal to impose a six 
month moratorium on efforts to lift the embargo against Bosnia. The Bosnians proposed, in 
return, that the United States Government provide or arrange to provide military assistance 
during the six month period. The Bosnians also sought a commitment from the United States to 
lift the embargo at the end of the six month period if the political and military situation in Bosnia 
was not stabilized. The United States Govenunent flatly rejected providing arms directly and, 
after considering the second aitemative, decided-the United States would not encourage others to 
provide arms to the Bosnian Muslims. This position was not altered in subsequent months. 

United States Government officials did undertake a military, political and intelligence 
analysis involving the Departments of Defense and State, the Central Intelligence Agency, and 
the National Security Council to evaluate whether third countries should be encouraged on a 
secret and confidential basis to transship arms through Croatian-held territory to the Bosnian 
Muslims. The study involved consulution at a senior level with officials of selected third 

The participants in the study concluded that the United States should not encourage third 
countries to supply aims to the Bosnians. Such an effort could not be kq>t secret for any 
significant length of time because the transshipment of aims through Cioatian-held territory 
would have been discovered by UNPROFOR troops and allied intelligence. The allies would 
consider United States encouragement of third countries to transship aims through Croatian-held 
territory an afHrmative action by the United States Government to break the spirit and letter of 
the aims embargo. Even more important, a United States effort to encourage transshipment 



would be considered by the allies to pose an unacceptable threat to the safety of allied forces on 
the ground. 

Communications benveen Ambassador Galbraith and an Intelligence Community 
Representative Prior to April 28, 1994. 

In early December 1993, an Intelligence Community Representative (an "ICR") in 
Croatia informedW^eadquarters that Ambassador Galbraith asked about a covert action. The 
ICR speculated that the inquiry was motivated by the Ambassador's personal support for the 
Muslims, and predicted thai the Ambassador would propose a covert action program to 
Washington policy makers. The ICR told the Ambassador that no covert action was undervvay^J*^ 

In mid- April 1994, an ICR in Croatia informedi||HHjthat approximately five weeks 
earlier (i.e., mid-March), Ambassador Galbraith raised the possibility of the United States 
informing the Goverrunent of Croatia that the United States \\ ould look the other way \^ith 
respect to arms transshipments across Croatian-held territory and the further possibility of Iran 
serving as the arms supplier and Turkey as the "go-between." The ICR also infonncijl^ff 
headquarters that Ambassador Galbraith said he would raise the possibility with senior policy 
makers in Washington. 

An ICR in Croatia responded to Ambassador Galbraith that such acti\ity would \iolate 
United States law, provide Iran with a firmer foothold in the region, not be sustaitiable nor 
deniable, become apparent, be treated as a hostile act by Serbia, eiKourage Croatian military 
aspirations, and put United Sutes intelligence assets at risk. The ICR also characterized such 
activity as a covert action. In mid- April 1994, an ICR inforniedJlM/neadquarters that, 
according to the Deputy Chief of Mission (the "TXTM^^, Special Envoy Charles Redman was 



considering the idea of a coven action along the lines of actions undertaken in Afghanistan?^^^ 

The accuracy of the reporting on the mid-March conversation by an ICR in Croatia is in 
doubt due to the non-contemporaneous nature of the reporting, the fact that Ambassador 
Galbraith denies the conversation took place, and the fact that no senior policy maker in 
Washington ever was approached by the .\mbassador. The accuracy of the information alluded 
to by an ICR with respect (o Special Envoy Redman is in doubt due to the fact that the United 
States Special Envoy denies ever entertaining such thoughts (let alone expressing them), and the 
DCM denies ever making such remarks to the ICR. 

The Lines of Communication behveen an ICR andi 

To a significant extent, the strain in the working relationship benveen Ambassador 

Galbraith and an ICR in Croatia was the result of inadequate conununication between an ICR 

and the pUl The ICR executed the directions received from thejJHduring the period bet%veen 

mid-March and mid-November 1994, but the directions often were incorrect or uninformed 

In April 1994, an ICR in Croatia was informed byjMpersonnel responsible for Croatia 

that the proposed action regarding the transshipment of arms described by Ambassador Galbraith 

in mid-March would, if implemented, constitute a covert action for which a Presidential finding 

is required. The legal advice given to an ICR was not correct and was rendered without 

consulting an attorney. Throughout May 1994. an ICR sought- at times in near deq>eTation-- 

guidance from headquarters about the United States policy toward enforcing the arms embargo. 

The desperation felt by an ICR was due to concern about risking intelligence assets in the 

collection of in^rmation about arms shipments if enforcement of the embargo was not a United 

States priority, 



As a result of receiving incorrect legal advice, an ICR in Croatia remained deeply 
concerned from early May until mid-November that the United States Government was engaged 
in illegal covert activity. The concerns of the ICR caused wholly unfounded suspicions to form 
about the conduct of Ambassador Galbraith as vsell as the conduct of other tenior United States 
Goverrunent officials involved in policy making in the region. 

In April 1994. an ICR in Croatia was informed byipWheadquarters that a request made 
by Ambassador Galbraith to use intelligence charuiels to communicate policy represented a 
serious and substantial misuse of intelligence chaiuiels. The ICR was never informed that the 
Director of Central Intelligence. James Woolsey (the "DCI"). did not consider the request to be 
inappropriate. The failure to inform the ICR that the request was not inappropriate caused the 
official to harbor unfounded suspicions about the request. An individual at/^Hheadquarters 
who read the ICR's report and characterized the idea raised by the .Vi}bassador in mid-March as 
a covert action also caused the ICR to form unfounded suspicions about the conduct of 
Ambassador Galbraith and other senior policy makers^ll^^^ 

Although an ICR was admonished for editorializing in the reporting, the conduct 
continued throughout the sununer and fall of 1994. More efTcctive guidance should have been 
provided by thc/p|y Reporting inaccuracies could have been corrected earlier and more 
effectively if th^HMhad provided an ICR with accurate legal advice and timely information 
about United States enforcement of the arms embargo. As a result of inadequate guidance, an 
ICR in Croatia was not informed until November 15, 1994, that the **no instructions'* policy 
which the Ambassador asked be communicated through intelligence channels was an accurate 
statement of United States policy. An ICR in Croatia also should have been informed about the 
limited nature of the DCI's concem about the request made of the intelligence official by the 




The Role of the Deputy Chief of Mission. 

A key source of reporting by an ICR in Croatia consisted of remarks made by (he DCM. 
In many cases, the remarks were not based on actual knowledge of events, but upon rumor. 
gossip and speculation. Although the ICR may have been somewhat overzealous in reporting 
these remarks, the willingness of the DCM to engage in this type of conduct over an extended 
period of time was a significant contributing factor to the tension at Embassy Zagreb. The 
degree and extent of the speculation that the DCM shared with the ICR also caused the ICR to 
form unfounded suspicions about the conduct of Ambassador Galbraith and the conduct of other 
policy makers. -r* 

The Communications between the Ambassador and an ICR in Croatia 

Ambassador Galbraith was either unaware of or insensitive to the deep concerns of an 
ICR in Croatia. Although the lack of awareness or sensitivity is at least partly attributable to the 
unfounded nature of the concerns, closer communication between the v*:o officials could have 
lessened the concerns of the intelligence official and avoided some of the coniiision between 
senior Washington ofScials of the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency. 

The Communications in Mt^ 1994 between the Senior Officials of the Department 
cf State, the National Security Council and the Central InuUigence Agency. 

Communications between the senior officials of the Department of State and the Central 

IntelligetKe Agency over the United States Government policy and conduct in the Balkans 

lapsed in April/May 1994 and in September/October 1994. On May S, at the weekly meeting of 



Secretary of Stale Christopher and DCI Woolsey (also attended on this occasion by Deputy 
Secretary Talbott), the DCI described a request Ambassador Galbraith had made of an ICR in 
Croatia. The DCI said Ambassador Galbraith had asked an ICR to teiyH^BWBI^^ 
^^^IHHHH^Khat the United States would, in effect, look the other way with regard to 
the transshipment of arms through Croatian-held territory to Bosnia. 

DCI Woolsey's description of the Ambassador's request set off a chain of 
miscommunication and misunderstanding. Deputy Secretary Talbott knew that Ambassador 
Galbraith had been instructed to tell the Croatians that he had "no instructions." When he heard 
the words "look the other way." he-was therefore surprised. In fact. Ambassador Galbrai'** did . 
not tell the Croatians that the United States Government would look the other way. 

The DCFs characterization of the message Ambassador Galbraith had transmitted 
incorrectly left Deput>- Secretary Talbott with the impression that the Ambassador had expressed 
United States support for the transshipment of arms to the Croatian government. The use of the 
words "look the other way" by the DCI led Deputy Secretary Talbott to express concern because 
it was not consistent with the direction given to Ambassador Galbraith. The "no instructions" 
language was formulated to avoid putting the United States government in the position of either 
supporting or opposing the transshipment of arms. The "no instructions" response is veiy 
dilTerent &x>m the language that the DCI attributed to the Ambassador, Le, saying that die United 
States would, in cfTect, look the other way. In fact. Ambassador Galbraith had made his request 
of an ICR in Croatia so that an earlier and incorrect description of United States policy conveyed 
to a Croatiar^U^B^Hoflicial could be corrected^ 

Both the DCI and the ICR were concerned that policy not be communicated through 
I Unlike an ICR in Croatia, however, DCI Woolsey did not question or 



express concern about substance of the request. In fact, the policy on the amis embargo was not 
even discussed by the DCI and the Deputy Secretar>-. The decision of an ICR to refuse to use 
^channels to convey the Ambassador's message was appropriate. The level of the 
intelligence official's suspicions and concern about the Ambassador's motives was not. 

Subsequent conversations among the senior Department of State officials. Ambassador 
Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman confirmed that the Ambassador had deliv>>red the proper 
response to the Government of Croatia. Because the DCI never expressed interest or concern 
about the Ambassador's conversation with senior Croatian government officials. Deputy 
Secretary Talbott never got b^k to the DCI to inform him that Ambassador Galbraith and : . 
Special Envoy Redman actually had transmitted a "no instructions" response to the Government 
of Croatia. 

For its partJpMneglected to inform an ICR in Croatia that Ambassador Galbraith had 
been instructed to tell the Croatian government that he had "no instructions" regarding the 
transshipment of arms across Croatian-held territory to Bosnia. The failure ouflplto inform the 
ICR of the "no instructions" response caused the ICR to continue to assume through mid- 
November 1994 that United Sutes policy was to enforce the embargo against third country 
transshipments of aims through Croatian-held territory to Bosnia and that Ambassador Galbraith 
and other United States govenunent ofRciak were taking actions contrary to that policy^ 

ConsultadoHS lit FaO 1994 among the Senior Officials of the Department of Slate, 
the Sational Security Council and the Central InteUigenee Agency. 

In Sqjtember and October 1994, \-anous intelligence sources incorrectly rqwited that 

senior ofiicials of the United States govenunent were engaged in active negotiations with third 



countries to pro\ idf amis to the Bosnians. In reality. United States Govemmenl officials were 
trying to determine whether the United Sutes should encourage third countries on a secret and 
confidential basis to transship arms through Croatian-held territory to the Bosnian Muslims. 

Senior officials of the Government of Bosnia-Herzego\ ina approached United States 
Government officials with a proposal that the United States Go\ emment encourage the shipment 
ofthird country arms to the Bosnian military. The United States considered, but did not agree to, 
the proposal. A great deal of discussion occurred about whether third countries should be 
encouraged to transship arms. Various United States agencies were tasked with studying 
scenarios, and con\ ersations were h;ld bet*eert senior United States and foreign officials. 
Intelligence reports began to cany accounts of these discussions, causing the CIA to become 
concerned urmecessarily that United States was actually planning and committing United States 
resources to an effon to ship arms to Bosnia. 

The CIA expressed concern about the intelligence reporting to National Security Adviser 
Lake who brought the concerns to the attention of White House Counsel Abner J. Mikva. White 
House Counsel Mik\-a recommended to the President that an Intelligence Oversight Board 
investigation be convened to consider whether ( 1 ) Ambassador Galbraith or United States 
Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia Redman was directly invoh-cd in assisting a particular 
arms shipment reach Bosnia; (2) the Ambassador or the Special Envoy followed the Department 
of State directions with respect to the response provided the Government of Croatia on >^ril 29, 
1994; and (3) the Ambassador and/or Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Richard 
Holbrooke made an offer to supply arms to the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 
summer or early fall 1994. 

The Intelligence Oversight Board determined that Ambassador Galbraith and Special 



Envoy Redman did not knowingly assist in the shipment of any amis to Bosnia and that they 
followed faithfully the Department of State directions in responding to the Government of 
Croatia on April 29. 1994. The Intelligence Oversight Board also determined that the 
Ambassador and Assistant Secretar>- Holbrooke did not make an offer to supply the Bosnians 
with arms. 

Congressional Action. 

Throughout 1994. the Congress conducted an extended debate on United States policy 
towards the Balkans in which the primary topic was whether the United States should lift the 
arms embargo against Bosnia unilaterally in the event that the allies refused to lift the embargo 
multilaterally. No Member of Congress e\ er called upon the United States to step-up 
enforcement of the embargo against third countries generally or against Iran in particular, 
presumably because the United Sutes was under no obligation to enforce the embargo and a 
majority of the Congress supported the objective of providing arms to the Bosnian Muslims. The 
Congress and the Administration recognized that the Bosnians needed a larger and more secure 
supply of arms, shared a strong desire to help the Bosnians, and considered the Bosruan Serbs 
and the Serb government to bear the overwhelming responsibility for the onset of the conflict 
The Administration supported a multilateral lifting of the embargo against Bosnia by the United 
Sutes and its allies, but opposed a unilateral lift by the United States. The allies opposed both a 
multiUteral and a unilateral lifting of the arms embargo against Bosnia on the grounds that the . 
Serbs (and perhaps the Croats) would perceive the action to be pro-Bosnian and launch 
preemptive attacks against Bosnian positions; the war would be widened and extended; the 
potential for peace set back; and the safety of allied troops jeopardized by the intensified 




The Administration supported a multilateral lifting of the arms embargo against Bosnia 
because of the extraordinarily unfair military impact of the embargo on Bosnia and the atrocities 
committed by the Bosnian Serbs. The Administration opposed a unilateral lifting of the amis 
embargo against Bosnia because it believed the allies would consider the move to be extremely 
hostile and would remove their troops from Bosnia; the United States wou'd be forced to help 
with the removal which would jeopardize American troops and aircraft; the Bosnian Muslims 
would be forced to endure a period of great risk and exposure to the Serb forces; and the war 
would become "Americanized " - 

The Administration also opposed sending troops to the region except to enforce a peace 
agreement to which all the parties had agreed or to li%e up to a commitment made by the Bush 
Administration to help extract the troops of the NATO allies in the event of an UNPROFOR 
withdrawal. The Administration recognized, however, that the \ acuum created by the departure 
of the UNPROFOR troops would have created an opportunity for a larger and more sinister 
Iranian presence than subsequently occurred. The allies tolerated the clandestine arms shipments 
to Bosnia that had been occurring since 1991, but were very concerned that Congress was 
prepared to ignore their opposition and authorize a unilateral lift of the arms embcrgo against 
Bosnia (as, in Cact, each House of Congress did agree to do at different times during the sununer 
of 1994). 

The Administration sought to negotiate an agreement with the Congress to formulate and 
implement a policy that mininuzed the potential for a conflict with the allies while maximizing 
the shipment of arms to Bosnia. The Congress certainly knew that arms were reaching the 
Bosnians: national and interoational news media and the daily intelligence reports identified Iran 



as a major supplier of anns to Bosnia during the spring and summer \99i. Yet at no time during 
this period of intense debate on the United States role in the Bosnian conflict did any Member of 
Congress urge the Administration to stop Iranian arms from reaching Bosnia. 

Specific Shipments of Arms, 

Throughout 1994, United States Government officials assisted in fteeine detained 
humanitarian aid convoys bound for Bosnia even though the officials had no independent means 
of checking the content of the shipments. The efforts of the United States Government officials 
'Were, in all cases, predicated on ihe assumption that such conxoys contained desperately needfi 
humanitarian cargo. Intelligence reporting alleged that Ambassador Galbraith and'or Special 
Envoy Redman assisted in freeing a detained convoy bound for Bosnia which contained arms 
shipments in addition to or instead of humanitarian cargo. The suspected convoy was identified 
as traveling under the auspices of the Bosnian Ambassador to Croatia, although witnesses have 
testified that the Bosnian Ambassador was involved in more than one convoy which makes it 
difficult to distinguish which convoy is under discussion. 

No evidence or testimony connects Ambassador Galbraith to the suspected convoy. The 
only evidence or tes'imony that connects Special Envoy Redman to the suspected convoy is a 
phone call he received from a Bosnian official. There is no evidence that the Special Envoy 
knev^- or had reason to know that the convoy carried anns. Moreover, no evidence exists that the 
convoy actually carried anns. 

Intelligence also reported that Ambassador Galbraith had met with an Islamic cleric and 
suspected arms merchant. No evidence exists to confirm the presence of the Ambassador and the 
cleric at any meeting at which arms purchases for or transfers to Bosnia were discussed. The 



Ambassador, the cleric and other Embassy Zagreb officials present at the meetings deny that an\ 
such conversation took place any\\ here at any lime. 

Fn February 1995. United Nations personnel reported the detection of aircraft at the 
restricted airport of Tuzla. Some United Nations personnel who allegedly heard or obser\ed the 
aircraft suggested they could have been United States planes. No evidence confirms these 
reports. In 1995, a senior official of the Government of Croatia asked the United States to 
investigate whether the cargo of an aircraft forced to land in Croatian territory contained missiles 
with chemical warheads. United States personnel examined the warheads and determined that 
they were not chemical. No evider.ce exists to' suggest that the involvement of the United States 
extended beyond making the examination. 



Chapter One 
Section One 


On December 14, 1995, the warring factions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia formally 
ended almost four years of fighting with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, an accord 
spearheaded by United Sutes negotiators. Until that moment, peace had seemed an unlikely 
prospect for the Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croatians who had been engaged in nearly four 
years of brutal war characterized by mass murders, rapes, slave labor and the forced expulsion of 
minorities in the name of "ethnic cleansing." The warring parties were criticized by the 
international conununity for their brutality, lack of respect for United Nations "safe havens" and 
for routinely blocking the passage of humanitarian relief convoys. Some reports calculate the 
human cost of the Bosnian war at 250,000 killed; 200,000 wounded; and more than 1 .3 million 
displaced refugees.' 

1991'J992: War Erupts and the IntemadoHol Reaction. 

In June 1991, smunering edmic tensions within the Socialist Federal Republic of 
Yugoslavia came to a peak after tiie legislatures of Slovenia and Croatia voted overwhelmingly 
to declare ttieir indq>endeoce. As an immediate response to their secessions, die Yugoslav 
govenunent issued a statement claiming such declarations to be "illegal** and "iUegitimate" and 

' Lany Q. Nowels, Bosnia Recoin:tnicrion: I nt er n a ti o n a l Tniti a tives a nd the IIS Role . CRS 
Rqwrt 96-96 F. July 12, 1996, at 1. 



ordered its military to secure their borders/ Two days later, the national Yugoslav People's 
Army ("JNA"), whose Commander and a majority of whose soldiers were Serbian, responded 
with force and invaded Slovenia to prevent its separation, but the JNA was met with strong 
resistance. In Croatia, fighting erupted between Croatian security forces and minority Serb 
irregulars, who had the backing of the JNA. The Croatian forces quickly lost an estimated one- 
third of the country to the Serb insurgents.' Each of the warring factions, the Serbs, Bosnian 
Serbs and later the Bosnian Croats, declared regions of territory as "ethnically pure, 
autonomous" areas under their contr-^l, and fiercely fought to protect and expand their holdings. 

In response to the civil unrest in Yugoslavia, the European Community ("EC) convened 
an emergency meeting of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe ("CSCE"). 
The CSCE urged the warring factions to accept a cease-fire and sent observers to Yugoslavia to 
monitor their compliance and troop movement.* However, throughout the summer of 1991, 
while cease-fires were negotiated, signed, and violated, the JNA continued to launch military 
offensives in Croatia. 

In its third meeting on this subject, the CSCE passed a resolution calling for the 
imposition of an aims embargo against all parties to the conflict' On September 25, 1991, the 

* Julie Kim. Yugoslavia: rhmnnlngy of Fvente. June IS . 1991- August IS. lOQ-?. OtS 
Rqwri 92-689. at 1 (hereinaaer "CRS Chronology 1991-1992"). 

' Steven Woehrel and Julie Kim, Bosnia - F ormta- Yugftslavia and IIS Policy. CRS Issue 
Brief IB91089. July 8. 1996, at 3 (hercinafler "Woehrel"). 

* CRS Chronology 1991-1992, at 4. The meeting of the CSCE occurred on July 4, 1991 
in Prague. Id. 

' The third meeting was on Sept 4, 1991, and occurred in Prague. Id. 



Bush Administration, on behalf of the United States, supported the passage of United Nations 
Security Council Resolution 713 ("UNSC Res. 713"). The resolution imposed a complete 
embargo on all weapons and equipment deliveries to the fomier Yugoslavia - including Bosnia, 
Croatia and Serbia.' Shortly thereafter, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 
724, to establish a Sanctions Committee that would monitor compliance with the embargo.' 
Resolution 713, in concert with United National Security Council Resolutions 740 and 787 
which addressed the implementation of the embargo, called on all nations to abide by the 
embargo, but did not legally requue countries to enforce the embargo.' 

The United Nations arms embargo was intended to contain the war and prevent the entry 
of additional countries into the conflict. One of the consequences of the embargo, however, was 
to preserve Serbian militaiy superiority over the other republics due to the Serbs' alliance with 
the JNA and the extensive supply of equipment and munitions within the JNA arsenal.* 

Throughout 1991, the JNA continued to attack various Croatian cities. In Zagreb, 

* United Nations Security Cotmcil Resolution 713, adopted on September 25, 1 991 , 
Article 6 (noting that "all States shall, for the purposes of establishing peace and stabiUty in 
Yugoslavia, immediately implement a general and complete embargo on all deliveries of 
yfcapons and military equipment to Yugoslavia until the Security Council decides otherwise'^. 

^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 724, adopted on December IS, 1991. See 
Article S(b) establishing the Sanctions Committee. 

* See Chapter One, Section Five for a discussion of these United Nations Security 
Council Resolutions and the aims embargo. United Nations Security Council Resolution 740 
was passed on Fd). 7. 1992, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 787 was passed on 
Nov. 16, 1992. 

* Laura Silber, Allan Little. Yu go55lavia, Death of a Nation 198 (1995) (hereinafter 


govenunental buildings, including President Tudjman's ofTices, were shelled. In the coastal 
town of Dubrovnik, the JNA cut off the power and water supplies, and severed telephone links 
for weeks at a time.'* In November, the Serbian forces finally left Vukovar, a city of 45,000, in 
ruins after months of fighting." The first United Nations-sponsored cease-fire went into effect 
on November 23, 1991. but quickly collapsed, as intense fighting continued elsewhere in 

In January, 1992 the first European Community casualties were reported. Five military 
observers sent by the CSCE w ere shot down in their marked helicopter." From this moment, it 
was evident that a larger international presence was needed to maintain peace in the region. 
Shortly thereafter, the United Nations sent a team to Croatia to lay the groundwork for the 
deployment of international peacekeeping troops. With United States support, the passage of 
United Nations Resolution 743 authorized the establishment of the 14,000-strong United Nations 
Protection Force ("UNPROFOR") for an initial service of twelve months. '* The troops were 
composed of platoons from many nations including Great Britain, France, Canada, Egypt, 
Malaysia and the Russian Federation and were dispatched throughout the region in areas of 

'• Id at 14. 
•• Id. at 17. 
" Id. at 18. 
" Id. at 20. 

'* Id. at 24; see also. United Nations Security Council Resolution 743, passed feb. 21, 
1992 at Article 2 (which establishes and outlines the responsibilities of the United Nations 
Protection Force). 


heavy fighting and relative calm." 

1992-1993: Bosnia Enters the War. 

In early 1992, the battle lines expanded into the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 

April, Serb militiamen and the Yugoslav Anny launched attacks against Bosnian Goverrunent 

forces afler Bosnia became the third country to declare its independence from Yugoslavia. The 

most ethnically diverse of the former Yugoslav states, Bosnia had been a melting pot of Serbs, 

Croats and Muslims. Although the Bosnian Government's predominantly Muslim army was 

larger than the Bosnian Serb Army ("BSA*'), the alliance between the Bosnian Serbs and the 

JNA tipped the balance of firepower heavily in favor of the BSA, which quickly seized more 

than two-thirds of the territory and surrounded the capital city of Sarajevo." In fact, after the 

Bosnian Serb Army invaded Sarajevo on May 2, 1992, the front-lines in the Sarajevo suburbs 

estabUshed by the BSA partitioned the city and held on for thcrest of the war." The tremendous 

disparity in weapons is described in a New Vnric Time.<s article that noted: 

[T]he Serbian forces in Bosnia have 300 tanks and the Bosnian Muslims just 2. The 
Serbian forces have 200 armored persoruiel carriers and the Muslims 1 or 2. The Serbian 
forces have 600 to 800 artillery pieces to two dozen in the hands of the Muslims.'* 

'* Julie Kim, IINPROFOR Deployment as of mid-March 1994 , CRS, Sept 24, 19%. 

'•Woehrel at 6. 


"Michael Gordon, inm Raid to Send Arms tn Rnsnians, New York Times, S^t. 10, 1992, 
at AlO (hereinafter "Gordon") (citing United States intelligence reports). 


As these numbers would suggest, Serb forces easily outgunned the Bosnian Muslims, quickly 
acquired vast expanses of territory and inflicted high numbers of civilian casualties. 

Unlike the other warring factions whose patrons in Croatia and Serbia provided them 
with military and financial support, the Bosnian Muslims were forced to look beyond their 
immediate borders to acquire arms and other support Despite the international arms embargo, 
the Bosnian Government forces acquired some small arms by various means including 
purchasing arms on the international grey market, receiving smuggled weapons from private 
humanitarian aid organizations, producing some small arms, and receiving clandestine shipments 
of weapons via an arms pipeline through Croatia." Other countries came to the aid of the 
Muslims: Turkey and Pakistan smuggled small arms to the Bosnian Muslims; the Sultan of 
Brunei paid for a shipment of antitank missiles from Malaysia; and Saudi Arabia donated funds 
to the Bosnian Government to purchase arms from Hungary and Argentina." The materials 
acquired by the Bosnian Muslims in the early years of the war, however, did little to sustain the 
troops or mount a strong opposition against the Serb forces. Bosnian President Izetbegovic 
called upon the United Nations on several occasions to lift the arms embargo and allow his forces 

'* James Risen and Doyle McManus, l is ha<t Options to let Bosnia Get Arms. Avoid Iran, 
Los Angeles Times, July IS, 1996, at Al (which notes that Iran sent modest shipments of arms to 
Bosiia beginning in 1991Xhereinafler 'TIS Had Options"); sec also. John Pomfret, Ho» 
Rosnia's Muslims Dodferf Arms Rmhargo; Relief Agency B r o k e r ed A i d from Nation s. R a d i ca l 
Groups, The Washington Post, Sept. 22, 1996, at Al (illustrating how Bosnia's government 
purchased hundreds of millions of dollars worth of black-market we^;>ons and smuggled 
shipments into Bosnia via humanitarian aid cargo transport); United States Department of State 
Fact Sheet: Basic rhmnology of the Bosnia Arms F.mhargo-lran Connection (hereinafter 
"D.O.S. Chronology"). 

^ US Had Options at A6. 


access to heavy weapons to defend themselves, but his efForts were unsuccessful. 

The violence escalated during the spring of 1992. Although cease-fires had been 
negotiated and signed, none had held successfully.'' Beginning in 1992, successive diplomatic 
initiatives sponsored by the United Nations and the European Union were rejected. Numerous 
cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina including Mostar, Gorazde and Sarajevo came under heavy attack 
from the Bosnian Serb forces, killing many, trapping United Nations peacekeepers, and making 
the delivery of humanitarian aid nearly impossible.'' In May, under international pressure and 
the threat of Western sanctions, the Yugoslav Army announced its withdrawal from the conPic% 
but allowed its soldiers who were bom in Bosnia-Herzegovina to remain and fight with their 
weapons and equipment, thus further solidifying the superiority and military strength of the 
Bosnian Serbs. In June, Serbian militia forces fiercely attacked Sarajevo, deploying rockets, 
mortars, and artillery." In July, an international airlift to provide food, medicine and relief 
supplies to the starving citizens in Sarajevo began.'* 

E>espite the reported offenses by all factions, in April of 1992 the European Community 
and the United States fbimally recognized the countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and 

*' CRS Chronology 1991-1992. Several cease-fire agreements had been negotiated in 
1992. By June 1, 1992. at least eight had been signed: January 3, 1992, ^ril 5. 1992. April 12. 
1992, April 15, 1992, April 23. 1992. May 6, 1992, May 15, 1992, and June 1, 1992. Id. 

"^ Id. at 29. 

** Id. at 33. 

'* Id. at 36. Before the airiifl ended, some tfaree-and-one-half years later in January 19%. 
approximately 13,000 flints carrying an estimated 18,000 tons of medicine and 160.000 tons of 
food had landed, making the Sarajevo airiifl the largest in history. 


Slovenia, and lifted the economic sanctions imposed upon them. In May, these countries gained 
admission to the United Nations."' On May 30, 1992, the United Nations Security Council 
imposed sweeping economic sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ("FRY"), now 
consisting solely of Serbia and Montenegro, for its role in promoting the creation of an 
autonomous Serb state and supporting Serbian guerrilla forces, federal Yugoslav army units and 
the Bosnian Serb Army." Almost one year later in April 1993, these sanctions were further 
tightened by the United Nations Security Council which banned the transshipment of goods 
through Serbia and Montenegro and froze financial assets abroad. 

In the summer of 1992, incidents of ethnic cleansing were v^dely reported. In the 
northeast Bosnian city of Brcko, Serb forces systematically executed Muslim men in the prison 
camp of Luka. bimates were selected to be interrogated, beaten and killed almost every day over 
a two week period.'' In Bosanski Samac, Serb military forces overran the city and carried out an 
orchestrated campaign of terror to force Bosnian Croat and Muslim residents to leave the area.'* 
Newjiday described the expulsion of 1,800 Muslims from the Bosnian village of Kizluk on a train 
as **the latest twist of cruelty in an already brutal war . . . part of a policy by the Serbian-led 

** CRS Chronology 1991-1992 at 31. 

** Woehrel at 10; see also. United Nations Security Council Resolution 7S7. 

'^ The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Indictment by the 
Prosecutor of the Tribunal against lelisic and Cesic , (Worid Wide Web at: 

** The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Indictment by the 

Prosecutor of the Tribunal against Miljlcn vir, Simir, TaHir, TnHnmvif. and Taric, (World Wide 

Web at: gopher7/ 



Yugoslav government to ethnically cleanse historically Muslim areas of Bosnia."** 

Detention centers and prisoner of war camps also were uncovered. Prisoners freed from 
the camps described them as places where "beatings and torture are an integral part of the daily 
regime" and venues of "executions, mass deportations in closed freight cars, forced marches and 
a regime of starvation and abandonment to the elements."" 

In August, a television crew from the British Independent Television News visited the 
prison camps of Omarska and Tmopolje, located in northern Bosnia. Despite the tight control of 
prisoner interviews and access areas, the footage shot by film crews "was reminiscent of scerer 
from Nazi concentration camps. Gaunt men with protruding ribs stared listlessly fix)m behind a 
barbed- wire fence."" Many observers believe that throughout the war, "war crimes" were an 
integral component of the political and military strategy of the Bosnian Serb leaders. Although 
Bosnian Serbs were perceived to have committed the greatest number of war crimes, Croats and 
Muslims also participated in episodes of indiscriminate killing and violence." The Intemational 
Red Cross claimed that it had been barred from entering most detention centers, but that all sides 
of the Yugoslav conflict were committing these atrocities." The United N'ations felt the need to 

** Roy Gutman, Ethnic Cleansing; Yiignslavs try to Deport 1 . 800 Miiditns t o Hung ar y, 
Newsday, July 3, 1992, at 5. 

*° Roy Gutman, Prisoners of Serhia's War Tales of Hunger , Tnrturie at Camp in North 
Bosnia. Newsday, July 19, 1992, at 7. 

*' Ron HoweU, At IJN, Pressure for Armed Reply, Newsday, Aug. 7, 1992, at 5. 

" Margaret Mikyung Lee, Raphael Perl, Steven Woehrcl, Bosnia War Crimes: The 
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and I IS Pnliry. CRS Report 96-404F, 
May 6, 1996, at 1 (hereinaAer "CRS: War Crimes Tribunal"). 

" CRS Chronology 1991-1992 at 41. 



take action and established the War Crimes Commission in October 1992, to investigate the 
reported offenses." 

In early 1993, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 808, establishing 
the International War Crimes Tribunal." The Tribunal was authorized to investigate and 
prosecute persons who were responsible for committing serious violations of international 
humanitarian law within the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991, including violations 
of the laws of war, genocide and crimes against humanity, and violations of the Geneva 
Convention - intended to protect c'vilians and prisoners of war from willful killing and tortu.e.' 

President Izetbegovic charged that Bosnian Muslims were the victims of "genocide" and 
implored the world community to defend their freedom and their ability to defend themselves as 
its "duty."'^ Increasingly, Islamic nations complained that the tepid response against the Serb 
aggressions by the United Nations and western countries condoned the persecution of Muslims. 
The forty-seven countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference ("OIC") were naturally 
sympathetic toward the Bosnian Muslims. The OIC members also were bound by the United 

** CRS War Crimes Tribunal at 2; see also. United Nations Security Council Resolution 
780, adopted Oct 6, 1992, at point 2 (establishing the Conunission of Experts to collect evidence 
of atrocities). 

^ Id. at 4; stt also. United Nations Security Council Resolution 808, adopted Fd>. 22, 
1993, at point 1 which provides that "an international triburud shall be established for the 
prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law 
committed in Ae toritory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991." 

^ Id. at 6-7; see also. United Nations Security Council Resolution 808. 

" Saul Friedman, Rnsnia's P lea to Summit; Use Forces to Destmy Sert> Guns, I.eader 
Asks. Newsday, July 1 0, 1 992, at 7. 



Nations arms embargo, although their degree of adherence to the embargo varied. In December, 
1992. the OIC passed a declaration calling for the lifting of the amis embargo." President 
Izetbegovic responded to outpourings of support from the Islamic community with public 
accolades and declared that "we consider Iran as our greatest friend in the world."'* The 
American public was increasingly sympathetic to efforts to aims the Bosnian Muslims and 
neither the Bush Administration nor Members of Congress condemned Izetbegovic for 
expressing such views about Iran. 

Iran views itself as thp "protector of oppressed Muslims worldwide" and was particula-ly 
active in its support of the Bosnian Government forces.^' 

fbeginning in 1992, began implementing plans to send diplomatic, economic, and 
humanitarian assistance to the Bosnian Muslims to make up for the inability of the United 
Nations to intervene on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims.*' Additionally, Iran supplied clandestine 
military aid and personnel to the Bosnian Government Army. 

In September 1992, western news and Croatian government sources reported the first 

^ Kenneth Katzman, Julie Kim and Richard Best, RoCTiia and Iranian Arms Shipments: 
Issues of IIS Policy and Invnlv«ment, CRS Report 96-360F. Apr. 24, 1996 at I. 

" FBIS, Iranian Daily Interviews Izetbeg ovic, Dec. 30, 1992, at 27. 

* Sec Chapter Three, Section One for a discussion of Iran's activities in the region 
between 1991 and 1996. 

*' DCI Interagency Balkan Task Force,/ 
May3, 1996,atl.^^gv 



substantial leak and "one of the most brazen efforts yet" to circumvent the arms embargo/' An 
Iranian Boeing 747 had secretly landed in Zagreb, Croatia, carrying more than 4,000 guns; more 
than one million rounds of ammunition; and forty Iranians in an "apparent attempt by the Islamic 
state to smuggle weapons to Muslim forces.'"' The Iranian 747 flight s^jpeared to confirm 
rumors that Iran and other Islamic countries had been involved in providing weapons and aid to 
the Bosnian Muslims in violation of the arms embargo.^ 

Although the Muslim forces were desperate for weapons, President Bush responded to 
the report of the Iranian weapons delivery by officially protesting to Croatia and the Croatian 
Government impounded the aims. Secretary of State Eagleburger recalled, "We made it very 
clear that we were adamantly opposed to this going on.'*" U.S. Department of State officials 
condemned Iran's attempt to skirt the United Nations arms embargo, but acknowledged that 
previous Iranian flights also may have included illegal arms shipments.' 

^^uglas Jehl. J 

s Rqwrted, Los Angeles Times, SepL 


** FBIS. Fnrrign Mi nister nenies Islamic Arms Shipments, Sept. 10, 1992, at 23. 

** James Risen and Etoyle McManus, IIS OVd Iranian Arms for Bosnia, OfRrials Say, 
Lx>s Angeles Times, Apr. 5, 1996. at Al. 

^ Michael nnirfnn, Iran Said to Send Arms to Bosnians, The New York Times, SepL 10, 


1993-1994: Clinton 's Bosnian Policy and the Muslim-Croat War. 

During the 1992 Presidential campaign. President Clinton criticized President Bush for 
taking little action to support the Bosnian Muslims.^ President Clinton publicly opposed the 
arms embargo and argued the United States should do more, including conducting air strikes, to 
protect Bosnia.*' Once elected, however, Clinton's foreign policy to aid the Bosnian Muslims 
was constrained diplomatically and militarily. President Clinton faced strong resistance to 
multilaterally lifting the arms embargo from the European allies, particularly Great Britain and 
France which feared that a retaliatory strike by the Bosnian Serbs would endanger their troops on 
the ground. In the absence of necessary international support for a multilateral lift of the 
embargo. Congress supported a unilateral lift to allow the United States to supply we^ons 
directly to the Muslims.^ However, the allies opposed unilateral action by the United States 
vigorously. The Administration shared the allies' opposition to unilateral action out of concern 
that any Serb retaliation would endanger UNPROFOR troops, that our allies would withdraw 
their troops, and because unilateral action by the United States would be z direct violation of the 
intematioiul arms embargo." The Administration was concerned about an adverse effect 

** US Had Options at A6. 

'" See Chapter One, Section Three for a discussion of actions in Congress urging 
multilateral and unilateral lifting of the United Nations arms embargo. 

'* U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet: US Policy Toward Pot <>ntial Arms Shipmmts to 
Bosnia! 1994-Prespnt. Apr. 29. 1996. at 1. 



unilateral action would have on the adherence to and the success of other embargoes against Iraq, 
Libya, and North Korea. 

In early 1993, the Clinton Administration supported a comprehensive peace settlement 
(the "Vance-Owen plan") sponsored by the two Chairmen of the Peace Conference on former 
Yugoslavia, United Nations envoy Cyrus Vance and European Community mediator Lord David 
Owen. The Vance-Owen plan would apportion Bosnia into ten provinces, primarily defined 
along ethnic lines. The plan would create ten separate provinces, of which three would be 
defmed by a Serb majority, three would have a Muslim majority, two would have a Croat 
majority, one would be a Croat-Muslim province, and the tenth would be the city of Sarajevo, 
which would retain a presence of all ethnicities." Throughout the first months of 1993, the two 
mediators negotiated with the leaders of each warring faction to gamer support for the peace 
settlement. The Serbs rejected the plan because it required them to return some Muslim pockets 
of territory they had already conquered and because the Serb provinces would be isolated from 
each other. Bosnian President Izetbegovic criticized the plan for imposing ethnic partitions 
across Bosnia, although he felt pressure to accept the plan to gain international approval. In 
contrast to the other factions, the Croats supported the plan because it fiilfiUed their objective of 
creating autonomous Croat provinces that adjoined Croatia and extended into Bosnia. 

The Bosnian Serb Assembly voted to reject the plan and it lost the support of the Ututed 
States for diree reasons: first, the United States feared that the plan, if adopted, would be 
unenforceable; second the Bosnian Govenunent continued to strongly criticize the plan; and 

' Silber at 288. 



third, it would have required 50,000 ground troops to enforce and the United States maintained 
its reluctance to send peacekeeping U-oops from the United States anned forces into the region." 
After abandoning its support for the Vance-Owen plan. President Clinton looked for other ways 
to support a multi-ethnic state in Bosnia. 

During his first six months in office, President Clinton worked to establish a more active 
Bosnian policy. In June, Secretary of State Christopher announced the first commitment of 
United States peacekeeping ground forces to the war, offering 300 United States troops for the 
UNPROFOR force in Macedonia." The President also worked successfully within the 
international arena to urge the North Atlantic Council to employ "stronger measures including air 
strikes" against Bosnian Serb forces (action the NATO Council endorsed)." Preparations for the 
use of NATO air power began immediately after the endorsement." 

In late April 1993, increasing tensions between the Bosnian Muslims and the Croats 
erupted into violence. For almost one full year, the Bosnian Muslims found themselves waging 
wars on two fronts. Ethnic tensions, an influx of refugees who had been "ethnically cleansed" 
from other cities, and the proximity of Croatian HVO troops and Bosnian Army troops in the 
same territory caused renegade skinnishes to grow into larger military battles." The war 


** Julie Kim and Steve Wodirel, Rnsnia-Her r^nvina Conflict: Ch mnology of Event.«i in 
tht-Fnrmt-r Yugoslavia Tiin« 1, IQQ^-Ma y -^l , 1994 , CRS Report 94-522F. June 13, 1994. at 1 
(hereinafter "CRS Chronology 1993-1994"). 

" Id. at 3. 





between Bosnian and Croat forces was characterized by surges through Croat villages by the 
Bosnian Army, burning and looting as it went." For its part, Croatian HVO troops rounded up 
Muslim men in conquered villages." Incidents of ethnic cleansing, massacres and continued 
fighting between the Muslims and Croats were widespread. 

At the same time, the Bosnian Serb Army continued to advance against the Muslim 
forces. In response to the ruthless attack on the Bosnian city of Srebrenica and its subsequent 
surrender to the Serb forces in April 1993, and to heavy fighting elsewhere, in June 1993, the 
United Nations Security Council parsed Resolution 836 expanding the mandate for the 
UNPROFOR troops to include protection of six Bosnian "safe areas."*" The areas included 
Sarajevo, Bihac, Srebrenica, Tuzla, Gorazde and Zepa and allowed "all necessary measures" 
including air power to support UNPROFOR in its protection of the safe areas." The designation 
of the safe areas required UNPROFOR to progress from peacekeeping to peace-enforcement in 
these areas and marked the first time in the conflict that the United Nations relinquished its strict 
neutrality and committed to the protection of one side over the other." In reality, however, the 
declared "safe areas" were far fix)m safe. 

As 1993 continued, prospects for peace in the region remained slim. United States 

'•id. at 299. 

•» CRS Chronology 1993-1994 at 1; see also. United Nations Security Council Resolution 
836, passed June 4,1993; United Nations Security Council Resolution 824, passed May 6, 1993. 

•' CRS Chronology 1993-1994 at 1. 




diplomats attempted to negotiate a cease-fire and union between the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian 
Muslims in August 1993, but provocations and broken promises on both sides caused the 
fighting to continue into the fall and winter." In October, the United Nations Security Council 
passed a resolution extending the mandate for the UNPROFOR forces until March 31, 1994." In 
November, Bosnian Croat shelling destroyed the famous Old Bridge in Mostar, an international 
landmaiic built by the Ottoman Turks in 1566 and a symbol of past unity in a town where the 
ethnically-diverse residents had lived in mutual tolerance. 

Under pressure from the United States and other nations that advocated the lifting of the 
arms embargo, the United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution on 
December 20, 1993, urging the Security Council to lift the embargo on the Bosnian 
government.'^ However, the Security Council did not have the votes to enact such a measure. 

Negotiating the Federation Agreement 

In February of 1994, Bosnian Serbs attacked a crowded market square in Sarajevo, killing 
sixty-eight people, wounding more than 200 and sparking worldwide outrage.** The Clinton 
Administration responded to the incident by calling for NATO air strikes against Serb gun 


** CRS Chronology 1993-1994 at S; sm also. United Nations Security Council Resolution 
871, Article 1 1, adopted Oct 4, 1993. which extends the mandate for UNPROFOR for an 
additional period terminating on Mar. 31, 1994. 

" CRS Chronology 1993-1994 at 6. 




emplacements and encouraging the Muslims and Croats to present a unified defense against the 
Serbs. The Serb forces agreed to comply with the NATO demands, thereby avoiding the 
threatened air strikes. The front lines did not remain quiet for long. Later in February 1994, the 
first combat action in the 45-year-old history of NATO was initiated when United States fighter 
pilots downed four Bosnian Serb planes illegally flying in a no-fly zone.'' 

Throughout the Muslim-Croat conflict, mediators from the United States sought to exert 
pressure on both sides to enter into peace negotiations. In February, the United Nations issued an 
ultimatum to Croatia to pull its amy out of Bosnia or face sanctions and world isolation." i iie 
threat worked. Croatia agreed to withdraw its army and commence serious negotiations for a 
Federation. By the end of February, the Bosnians and Croats were en route to Washington and, 
over the next four days, negotiated a draft agreement. Despite the year long violence between 
the Muslims and Bosnian Croats, the two parties signed an accord establishing a fragile alliance. 
President Clinton hailed the pact as "one of the first clear signals that parties to this conflict are 
willing to end the violence and begin a process of reconstruction," and The Los Angeles Times 
noted that the agreements stirred "hope for a comprehensive settlement" in the Balkans.** 

The impact of the Federation Agreement was instnimental to the survival of the Bosnian 
Muslims until Ae signing of the Dayton Accords the following year. The most important and 
immediate consequence of the Agreement was to enable the Bosnian Army to focus its energy on 

•^ Id. at 10. 


** Paul Richter. Muslims , rmats Sign Accords for New Federation , Los Angeles Times, 
Mar. 19. 1994, at Al. 



the war with Serb forces, and to create a Muslim-Croatian unified defense to put additional 
pressure on the Serbs to negotiate a peace settlement/' The Bosnian Army's supply of weapons 
and munitions increased as a result of access to Croatian weapons caches and the arms pipeline — 
was reopened through Croatian territory." The alliance also enhanced the delivery of needed 
humanitarian aid to Muslim enclaves.'^ 

Despite the momentum provided by successful negotiations to establish the Muslim- 
Croat Federation, peace with the Bosnian Serbs was not forthcoming. The Serb forces 
continued to hold seventy percent of the territory in Bosnia. In April 1994, gunfire and 
explosions erupted again in Sarajevo.^' At the same time, the Serbs launched attacks against 
three United Nations "safe havens." Srebrenica and Zepa fell quickly. Gorazde, a city of 65,000 
strategically located between two large Serb-held towns in the Drina Valley, was subjected to a 
devastating siege. The Bosnian Serbs were attempting to consolidate their territory in the event 
that a quickly-moving peace process would freeze existing boundaries.'^ United Nations 
officials, however, interpreted the vigorous attacks on the cities in northern Bosnia as retaliation 
against the Federation agreement'' 

^ Silber at 3 19; ses also, Steven Greenhouse, Muslims and Rnsnian rroat.«; Give Birth to 
« Nffw Federarion. New York Times. Mar. 19, 1994, at A4. 

"Silber at 319. 


" Julie Kim, Dftaileri rhronology of Events in Bosnia during March-April 1994. CRS 
Rqwrt, July 18, 1996, at 4 (hereinafter "CRS Detailed Chronology")- 

'^ Silber at 325. 

" Id; CRS Detailed Chronology at 4. 



The siege of Gorazde was particularly harsh. United States Special Envoy to the Former 
Yugoslavia Charles Redman characterized the attack as "very, very brutal ... we simply had a 
bunch of helpless civilians being pounded at point blank range by Serbian tanks."'' At the height 
of the assault, Serb gunners were hitting the city an average of once every twenty seconds for an 
entire day. Bosnian President Izetbegovic responded with another international call for weapons 
to be used in self-defense." The events in Gorazde made absolutely clear the inability of the 
UNPROFOR forces to protect the "safe areas" under the existing rules of engagement." The 
situation was becoming increasingly dangerous to citizens of Gorazde, the international relief 
agency personnel and the United Nations personnel in the city.^ 

UNPROFOR Commander General Rose demanded Serbian General Mladic put a stop to 
the attacks on Gorazde or face NATO action, but the attacks continued." In what President 
Clinton described as "a clear call to the Serbs to pull back from Gorazde and resume the 
negotiations," NATO jets began to carry out air strikes against the Serb forces with increasing 
frequency and intensity to protect the United Nations personnel and civilians." Bosnian Serb 
leader Karadzic retaliated by detaining United Nations troops and officials, banning American 

'* Select Subcommittee Deposition of Charles Redman. Aug. 27, 1996. at 29 (hereinafter 
'Hedman Subcommittee Dep."). 

" CRS Chronology 1993-1994 at 14 


•' CRS Chronology 1993-1994 at 13. 



journalists from Serb teiritories and declaring United Nations Commander Rose persona non 
grata." The retaliation by the Serb forces hardened allied opposition to a unilateral lifting of the 
arms embargo. Bosnian Serbs also blocked United Nations relief convoys from bringing needed 
food and medicine to Gorazde." Near the end of April, Bosnian Serb troops began to comply 
with NATO deadlines to withdraw their heavy weapons and air strikes diminished." 

While the Bosnian Serbs unleashed fierce attacks on the "safe areas" and other Bosnian 
enclaves, and the number of civilian casualties skyrocketed, the United States Congress hotly 
debated the issues of the arms embargo. During the spring of 1994, both Houses voted to 
mandate the lifting of the embargo." The disproportionate impact of the arms embargo had 
become increasingly clear to the Administration, Congress, and the American public. Moreover, 
the new Federation Agreement between the Croats and Muslims offered the first real opportunity 
to forge a peace in the regioa 

This is the moment in the history of the Balkan conflict when the United States 
Ambassador responded to die President of Croatia that he had "no instructions" with respect to 
\«4iether the United States would object if Croatia allowed arms shipments from other countries 
to pass through its territory into Bosnia. 

Heavy fighting between the BSA and Bosnian Government forces resumed near the town 

•'Id. at 14. 

" Id. at 15. 

•* Id. at 16. 

** See Chapter One, Section Three and related appendices on Congressional activity and 
policies relating to the United Nations arms embargo. 



of Bihac and in Gorazde for several days in July. In August, President Milosevic of Serbia 
announced that his government was going to sever its remaining political and economic ties to 
the Bosnian Serbs. '^ 

The FRY government agreed to the deployment of international monitors to verify 
Yugoslavia's embargo of goods to the Bosnian Serbs. The Contact Group suspended some of 
the sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia by the United Nations and in September, the United 
Nations Security Council approved Resolution 943, easing sanctions on Serbia-Montenegro." 

As winter approached, military skirmishes on the ground in Bosnia continued. In 
November, continued and heavy fighting was reported throughout Bosnia and the situation in 
Bihac, one of the U.N. protected safe havens, escalated to a level which mandated more NATO 
air strikes. Also in November, President Clinton signed into law the Nunn-Mitchell Amendment 
to prohibit the expenditure of appropriated funds to enforce the arms embargo against the 
Bosnian Muslims. 

ne Effects of the Strategic Military Imbalartce Between the Warring Factions. 

The Bosnian Muslim forces clearly were undermanned and outgunned during the war. 
As Secretary of Defense Peny would later testify in 1996, "an important and significant &ctor in 

' CRS Chronology 1994-1995 at 3. 

'" Id. at 4; s«£.alsD, United Nations Security Council Resolution 943, passed September 
23, 1994. 



the cause of this war was the dramatic imbalance of forces which existed."" The United 
Nations, with the support of the United States, attempted to curtail the fighting in the Balkans by 
imposing an arms embargo against all states of the former Yugoslavia. The embargo not only 
failed to stop the deterioration of the situation in the fonner Yugoslavia, but in many respects 
contributed to further suffering in the region. Instead of reducing the flow of weapons to the 
region, the embargo increased the terrible disparity in military power among the factions and 
forced the Bosnian Muslims to seek weapons wherever they were available." Unfortunately for 
the Bosnian Muslims, the embargo did not prevent arms from reaching the Croatians and the' 
Serbs, further exacerbating the weak military position of the Bosnian Muslims. 

In an article dated August 2, 1994, the Washing ton Times carried a chart outlining the 
sales and shipments of arms to the warring parties for the period 1992-94 during which the amis 
embargo was still very much in effect*" Croatia received the highest dollar amount of arms 
among the three countries — receiving over S6S0 milUon in weapons in contravention of the aims 
embargo. Halfofthese weapons were of German origin.*' Serbia, which had retained the bulk 

** Remarks of Rep. Benjamin Oilman before the House International Relations 
Committee, Apr. 23, 1996, at 10 (citing testimony of Secretary of Defense Peny before the 
House International Relations Committee, Nov. 30. I99S). 

" Gordon at AlO. 

"* Paul Beaver, Iran Uses Russian Planes to Supply Bosnian Muslim, Croatian Troops, 
The Washington Times. Aug. 2, 1994, at A14 (hereinafter "Arms Chart"). 

*' Id. According to the chart, S320 million in German-origin arms were sold to Croatia. 
This chart does not indicate whether these figures also include the percentage of weapons Croatia 
demanded from shipments headed for the Bosnians which transcended its borders. These cuts 
were as high as thiiiy percent before die cessation of hostilities in the regioiL 



of the former Yugoslav military at the outset of the war, received approximately $476 million 
worth of additional weapons, nearly three quarters of which came from the former Soviet Union. 

Bosnia, the neediest country of the three in terms of arms, received just $161 million in 
arms from third countries, $20 million of which came from Iran.'"/ 

Neither Croatia's decision to cooperate with the Iranians and other Islamic countnes in 
the reestablishment of the formal arms pipeline between Croatia and Bosnia, nor the formation of 
the Federation balanced the scales while the embargo was in place. Bosnia began receiving 
deliveries of arms from the Islamic countries on a more regular basis, but Serbia and Croatia 
continued to maintain a vast superiority in heavy and sophisticated weaponry. 

In late 1994, the Croatian Defense Ministry commented that the current air deliveries of 
light weapons into the region were not enough** to aid the Bosnian cause. Of course, argubg for 
more we^>ons deliveries to Bosnia was in the interests of Croatia since it received one third of 
all shipments that went to Bosnia through its territory.*' At the same time the Bosnian Foreign 
Kfinister lamented that it was extremely difficult to get financing and support from many of die 


Memorandum to the File by Peter Galbraith, Sept 5. 1994. (Confidential) 

** INR Report, Nov. 18, 1993 (describing the Croatian arrangement before Muslim-Croat 
hostilities to take thirty percent of arms shipments to Bosnia). 



Islamic nations that publicly supported lifting the embargo to aid Bosnia's survival in the face of 
Serb aggression.** 

Serbia also prospered under the arms embargo. By June 1994, the United States had 
noted a sharp erosion in the effectiveness of the arms embargo against all countries.*' Leaks in 
the arms embargo were most apparent in Serbia where the entire economy was growing in spite 
of the economic sanctions against it** The United States sought to impose tighter United 
Nations Security Council sanctions against Serbia, but met with strong resistance fix>m the 
allies.** Serbia's ability to project its military threat throughout the former Yugoslavia, was 
demonstrated in November 1994 when Serbia threatened to bomb Pleso airport, Lucko airfield, 
and Zmaj if Croatia continued to supply Bosnian Muslims in Bihac."" Thus, even with 
assistance, the Bosnian Muslims found themselves at a disadvantage. 

The Bosnian difficulty in receiving arms continued throughout 1995, until the signing of 
the Dayton Accords. Unlike Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb forces whose patrons in Croatia 
and Serbia provided them with material and financial support, the Bosnian Muslims had to look 
outside their immediate neighborhood for support At no point during the conflict were the 

** Memorandum to the File by Peter Galbraith, Dec. 16, 1994. (S) 

" Memorandum to the Secretary of SUte. June 2, 1994. (S) 


" Stt Department of Stote Cable, USUN 1931, Aug. 12, 1994, at 1. (S) 

'" Department of State Memorandum by Peter Galbraith, Nov. 17. 1994. at 1. The Serb 
threat did not materialize as the Croatians explained that they were not aiding the Bihac Muslims 
at the time although they had promised assistance in the previous month. Id. 



Bosnians able to counter the weapons possessed by the Serbs and Croats.'" In addition, Croatia 
continued to take a thirty percent cut of the weapons it allowed to transit its territory en route to 
Bosnia, negotiated deals with Iran for the delivery of missiles able to hit Belgrade, and amassed a 
sizeable stockpile of materiel."' ' 

Memorandum to the File by Peter Galbraith, June 20. 199S/j 


The Clinton Administration saw the Federation Agreement as a critical factor in reducing 
the disparity in weaponry among the combatants. The most important consequence of the 
Federation Agreement was that it allowed the Muslims and Croats to concentrate on the war with 
the Serbs. The fact that Croatia reopened the arms pipeline for the Bosnians was an important 
secondary consequence. 

1995: The Road to Dayton. 

In December 1994, former United States President Jimmy Carter concluded a mission to 
Bosnia in which he negotiated a four-month cease-fire. The warring parties agreed to several 
military and humanitarian demands, including a "cease fire, the ending of Serb restrictions on 
humanitarian convoys, the reopening of the Sarajevo airport to aid flights, the protection of 
human rights, the opening of the Bosnian Serb territory to United Nations human rights 
investigators and the exchange of all detainees and prisoners of war."'" Although the fighting 
quieted somewhat, this cease-fire, like all prior ones, began to fray as the April deadline 
approached. Negotiations for its extension were finiitless. 

Once again, the Seib forces renewed their heavy weifwns attacks against Sarajevo and 


"" Steven Woefarel, R nsnia-Herce£ovina and Former Yugoslavia: rhronology of Even ts. 
June 1,1 994- J ul y 16 , 1Q<)S . CRS Report 95-823F, July 18. 1995. at 8 (hereinafter "CRS 
Chronology 1994-1995"). 



other United Nations "safe areas." took United Nations peacekeepers hostage and used them as 
human shields and potential NATO air strike targets."" By July, the Serbs overran the safe 
haven of Srebrenica after NATO air strikes failed to stop their advance. Subsequent reports of 
the siege of Srebrenica suggest that thousands of Muslim civilians were massacred and buried in 
mass graves at this site. 

The Western allies, fearing that Gorazde would be the next safe area to fall, promised 
"decisive and substantial" air strikes to protect the city.'" A sustained air strike campaign by 
NATO against Serb targets military equipment lasted throughout the summer and includeu 
thousands of sorties. While the strikes continued. United States negotiators renewed their efforts 
to discuss a cease-fire with the Serb forces. NATO's show of military superiority, together with 
Croatia's successful attacks against Serb-held areas of Croatia, created an incentive for the Serb 
forces to sit down at the negotiating table."' When the Serbs began to comply with United 
Nations demands and affirmed their willingness to sign a cease-fire, international negotiations 
sponsored by the United States, the European Union and Russia began in Dayton, Ohio. 

Three weeks later, a peace agreement was initialed to create a central government and 
two semi-autonomous regions with Bosnian territory divided fifty-one percent to the Federation 
and forty-nine percent to the Bosnian Serbs. The agreement also contained provisions on 
military arrangements, free elections, human rights and refugee issues. After the agreement was 


'" Chronolngy 1990-199S, Associated Press, The New York Times on the Wd), 
(http-7/ at 5. 

'" CRS Chronology 1994-1995 at 6. 



signed, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1021, to terminate the arms 
embargo on all former Yugoslav parties.'" The negotiations for a permanent peace were 
formally signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. at a ceremony in which President Clinton 
commented, "I applaud these leaders for making the decision to turn from war to peace. . 
.Tomorrow they will begin the hard work of making that peace real."'" To help implement the 
Dayton Accords, NATO deployed 60,000 troops, including some 20,000 United States troops, to 
participate in an Implementation Force ("IFOR") to patrol the separation of the factions.'" In 
addition to contributing to the military force, the United States promised economic, humanitarian 
and military aid. The long term fate of the peace process is not yel clear but elections have been 
held and the cease-fire has been maintained. The civilian initiatives such as resettling refugees, 
providing a basis for economic growth and jobs, and creating a new government structure have 
begun. Unlike the situation on the ground in April 1994, there is an absence of war. In this the 
Dayton Accords are a success. 

"* Id. at 1 1; see also United Nations Security Council Resolution 1021, point 1, adopted 
Nov. 22, 1995 (noting fliat the United Nations Security Council "decides that the embargo on 
delivenes of weapons and military equipment imposed by resolution 713 (1991) shall be 

"* Sharon Kfachlis Gartenberg. Tr«ny Signed in Paris to Fomially End Bosnian War. 
Bosnia Action Coalition. Dec. 14, 1995 ( 

'" Julie Kim and Elizabeth Marino, Bosnia and Fomier Yugoslavia: Chronology o f 
Fv«.u, 10 10Q<-Ma y-<1 1996 CRS Report 96-556F. June 10, 1996, at 13. 



Chapter One 
Section Two 


Upon assuming ofilce in January 1993, the Clinton Administration was forced to deal 
with a deteriorating military situation in Bosnia. One option in addressing the problem was to 
lift the United Nations embargo that had been agreed to by the previous administration and to 
enable the Bosnian Muslims to defend themselves. This chapter describes the policy choices that 
were available to the Adm-ni<:tration. how the views of the allies and the role of Iran wer taken- 
into consideration, and why the policy worked. 

The Bush Administration 's Approach. 

After war broke out in Yugoslavia in 1991, the United Nations imposed an arms 
embargo on the entire country in an anempt to stem the fighting.' The embargo remained in 
effect on all parts of the former Yugoslavia despite the fact that the military capabilities of the 
newly independent Yugoslav rqjublics varied widely. During the summer and fall of 1992, 
political pressure to lift the arms embargo increased in the United Sutes and else"here in 
response to revelations of the Serb campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Bosnian Muslims 
and Croats. Proponents of lifting the embargo argued that the Bosnian Serbs* inheritance of the 
Yugoslav National Anny's (the "JNA'^ equipment pro\ided them w ith a significant miUtary 
superiority that made possible ethnic cleansing and other human rights abuses. The Bush 

' U.N. Security Resolution 713. Sept. 25, 1991. 



Administration rejected these calls. ' 

During Labor Day weekend. 1992. an Iranian Boeing 747 landed at Zagreb ostensibly en 
route to Bosnia to deliver humanitarian supplies. Croatian officials inspected the plane and 
found weapons and Iranian military personnel. The Croats seized the war materiel and sent the 
Iranians home. ' Bush Administration ofTicials noted that the seizure of the Iranian shipment 
represented the first tangible evidence of previously unconfirmed reports that Islamic countries 
had been providing military aid to the Bosnian Muslims/ The Bush Administration officials also 
 expressed concerns to the C'oats-about reports of Iranian flights.' Ironically, at the same ti"3e 
that the Bush Administration was actively seeking to keep weapons from reaching the Bosnian 
Muslims, the United States Government confirmed a Newsday report, that the Bosnian Serbs 
were operating detention camps where Muslim and Croat civilians were being held, tortured, and 

President Clinton 's Push to Lift the Embargo - 1993. 

President Clinton advocated lifting the arms embargo against the Bosnian government 

= ITS Rule* ou t Allnwin g Bosnia to Arm ltsel£ Reuters. Oct. 14, 1992. 

' Michael R. Gordon. Iran f' ^ tn *iettA Arms to Bosnians. New York Times, Sept. 10. 
1992. at AIO. 

• n «; Dgmands Red Cro ss Have Access to Detentio n Camps. Associated Press, Aug. 10. 
1992 (noting that the Bush Administration was "doing everything in its power to open detention 
camps in Bosnia-Hercegovina.'*). 



multilaterally and conducting air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs (the so-called "lift and strike 
option"). The lift and strike proposal represented a rejection of the Bush Administration effort 
to demilitarize the Balkans by maintaining an arms embargo against all the countries of former 
Yugoslavia. The Clinton Administration believed that the embargo worked to the decisive 
advantage of the Serbs who were primary perpetrators of ethnic cleansing and other war crimes. 

During the spring and summer of 1993. the Clinton Administration sought to convince its 
NATO allies to support "lift and strike." but was unable to achieve consensus among the 
European allies, and shelved the proposal: When '.he allies said no to lift and strike, the 
Administration was not willing to compromise allied unity and initiate a unilateral policy which 
might have led to the conunitment of thousands of U.S. troops to a combat situation in Bosnia. 
Therefore, the Clinton Administration continued to abide by the arms embargo and participate in 
NATO's Operation Sharp Guard interdiction effort in the Adriatic. However, the Administration 
no longer interfered with amis shipments by others through Croatian territory. 

The Administration pursued multilateralism only to the extent that it served U.S. 
interests. The United Sutes adopted a creative approach in which it continued to abide by the 
United Nations Security Council resolutions, while simultaneously pursuing its own goal of 
allowing the Bosnians to ann themselves. According to Alexander Vershbow, forma Deputy 
Assistant Secretary of Sute for European Affairs, the Administration distinguished between that 
which it was required to do under United Nations Security Resolution 7 13-- abide by the 

' Select Subcommittee Interview of Samuel Berger, Sept. 25, 1996 at 4 (hereinafter 
"Berger Subcommittee Int."Kexplaining that the Nunn-Mitchell amendment codified what the 
United Sutes was doing already: not enforcing the arms embargo). 



embargo - and that which it was merely "called upon" to do under United Nations Security 
Resolutions 740 and 787- enforce the embargo. Vershbow testified that "the Administration, 
although it had to abide by the arms embargo itself, was clearK on record as opposing the arms 
embargo and. therefore, we felt that it was not necessary for us to aggressively enforce the arms 
embargo."* \'ershbow is one of several senior Administration policy makers who acknowledge 
the United States had evidence for many months prior to April 1994 that the embargo was being 
evaded. Vershbow stressed, however, that the United States "chose as a policy matter not to 
send a telegram to our Embassy-{in Croatia] to protest and tell them to cut it out. We chose to 
take kind of a -- more of a hands-off neutral stance."^ 

Reginald Bartholomew, the former U.S. Special Envoy for former Yugoslavia, testified 
that his understanding of U.S. policy in 1993 was "the United States would, for its part, respect 
the basic pro\isions of the U.N. embargo in the sense of not itself transferring arms. The United 
Sutes as a N'.\TO member would, for its pan, participate in the Sharp Guard operation, which 
was related, but there it stopped. . .""' 

The Croatian Question - 1993 

In April 1993, the Croatian Government first sought to ascertain the Clinton 

* Select Subcommittee Deposition of Alexander Vershbow, Aug. 8, 1996, at 20 
(hereinaAer "\'ershbow Subcommittee Dep."). 

•id. at 21. 

" Select Subcommittee Deposition of Ambassador Reginald Bartholomew, Sept 30, 
1996, at 22 (hereinafter "Bartholomew Subcommittee Dep."). 



Administration's views on anus shipments to Bosnia. The Croatian inquiry may have been 
prompted by an expectation that the Clinton Administration would take a dift'erent approach than 
the Bush Administration crackdown of September 1992. The Croatian go\emment had 
reasonable grounds to ask such a question since Charge d'affaires Ronald Neitzke (who would 
later become the Deputy Chief of Mission under Ambassador Galbraith) had told the Croats two 
months earlier that the United Slates strongly discouraged Croatia from serv ing as a 
transshipment center." 

(The Neitzke statement also conflicted with the fact that arms 
shipments were already reaching Bosnia without United States interference. In general terms, the 
Neitzke advice reflected the Bush Administration action in September 1992. and not the Clinton 
Administration's view. 

Defense Minister Susak raised the question about the United States view during a visit to 
Croatia in April 1993 by former Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia Reginald 
Bartholemew. Specifically, the issue was raised after a breakfast meeting, in which discussion 
had focused on rel?*<ons between Croatia and Bosnia, and efforts to encourage the Croats to 
exercise some restraining influence on the Bosnian Croats to ease the growing tension with the 

Defense Minister Susak asked Special Envoy Bartholemew how the United States would 

" U.S. Department of State Cable No. 93 Zagreb 00499, February 14, 1993 (SECRET). 
'- Bartholomew Subconmiittee Dep. at 13. 



react to Croatia allowing weapons to transit Croatia en route to Bosnia. Bartholomew responded 

that the United States could not be put in a position of saying yes or no to the Croatian question. 

Bartholomew conveyed to Susak "that we didnt tike a position on this, that we didn't approve. 

that we didn't disapprove, that we weren't. . . going to be part of this one way or the other, that 

he had to make his own decisions where this was concerned."" The United St.->«es did not want 

to be put into a position of policing Croatia's border with Bosnia on the one had or of approving 

weapons deals on the other. Either of those positions would have been contrary to U.S. policy. 

Bartholomew stated: .  • ^. 

[W]e weren't going to get into the business of these third-country arms transfers. We 
weren't going to be put in the business of approving some, disapproving others. We 
weren't going to become party to one way or the other where that was concerned; 
enforcing or saying yes to this, no to that. et. cetera. That was quite clearly something we 
didn't want to do." 

Bartholomew testified that Susak was ambiguous about whether arms already were 
flowing into Bosnia. He knew fiom other sources at the time, however, that the Croats were 
indeed letting at least some arms pass through, "even in the midst of having rough times with the 
Bosnians, because they were getting a cut of it."" Bartholomew also knew that Iran was one of 
the suppliers. 

The Majority notes that it accepts Mr. Neitzke's second-hand account of events (in which 
Mr. Neitzke stated that Ambassador Bartholomew told him the U.S. could not be in the position 

"Id. at 18-19. 
" Id. at 20. 
"Id. at 17. 



of advising Croatia to transship arms to Bosnia) during this period over the first-hand account of 
Ambassador Bartholomew. In essence. Seitzke's account is not much different than 
Bartholomew's own. It should be noted, that Ambassador Banholomew reported his 
conversation with Minister Susak orally to Ron Neitzke, who in tum. sent a cable on the 
conversation to Washington nearly two weeks later. "^ .Although the cable states that Ambassador 
Bartholomew had cleared it. this does not appear to be the case, .\mbassador Bartholomew 
never saw any report or cable on the issue, and does not remember clearing any cable on the 
subject.'' Moreover, Mr. Neitzke has testified that Ambassador Bartholomew reported the' 
conversation to him in the car on the way to the aiiport for a departing flight which calls into 
question when and how Bartholomew would have been able to sign off on Neitzke's second hand 
account of the conversation. 

One year later. Croatian President Tudjman would pose a similar question to Ambassador 
Peter Galbraith. The question was similar, but the context was different. The difference in 
context helps explain why Ambassador Bartholomew could confidently offer his view to 
Minister Susak that the U.S. had no position and why Ambassador Galbraith felt compelled to 
seek expeditiously instructions on how to respond. 

In April 1 993 . relations between the Bosnian Muslims and Croats were extremely tense, 
but full scale war had not yet broken out between the two groups. That would occur the 
foUov^ing month. Ambassador Bartholomew kiiew that some arms were already flowing. He 

'* U.S. Department of State cable No. Z^peb 1479. April 27, 1993 (C). 
'- Bartholomew Subcommittee Dep. at 3t. 



also could sumiise that the effects of his response would be negligible. In fact, due to "the 
outbreak of the war between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats, amis did not tlow to 
Bosnia in grea: quantities after Special En\oy Bartholer.iew's exchange with Defense Minister 
Susak."" In contrast, in April 1994. the Bosnian Muslims and Croats had. weeks earlier, agreed 
to a fragile peace. Arms flows had been kept to a minimum during the previous year, and 
Croatia was seeking the U.S. view in the wake of the conclusion of the Federation Agreement. 
The Croatian question was, therefore, more significant than it had been the pre\ ious year. 

Moreover, whereas .A'nbassador Bartholomew was approached o\er breakfast by a 
Croatian Minister, Ambassadors Galbraith and Redman were asked by the President of the 
country for the official U.S. view. As Ambassador Bartholomew testified. ". . . this was a 
breakfast conversation. . . this wasn't being put to me in terms of a formal demarche the way I 
understand later on the President of the Republic of Croatia did. in a formal setting to one or at 
least two Ambassadors in specifically asking for the United States Government position, et 
cetera. This was a breakfast conversation in which my reaction was being sought, and I gave a 
reaction which was totally in line with the general outlook of the administration at that time."'^ 

The U.S. answer on both occasions turned out to be identical. U.S. policy was the same 
in April 1993 as it was in April 1994. Ambassador Bartholomew equates the two rqplies: "No 
instructions, no position.'*^ He also noted that when Ambassador Redman told President 

" Select Subcommittee Deposition of Ambassador Peter Galbraith. Aug. 19, 1996. at 13 
(hercinafier **Galbraith Subcomminee Dep."). 

'* Banholomew Subcommittee Dep. at 24. 

* Id. at 41. 



Tudjman that the United Stated did not want to be in a position of saying no to the Croatians. ' 
"he said what I said. . . I mean, in the sense of not wanting to take a position on the thing."" 

From the beginning of the Clinton Administration, the United States participated in 
Operation Sharp Guard (the NATO operation in the Adriatic primarily aimed at enforcing 
economic sanctions against Serbia) but did not undertake efforts to enforce the anns embargo 
against Bosnia. Senior officials at the CIA were aware that the Administration was not vigorous 
in enforcing the arms embargo against the Bosnian Muslims. Fomier Deputy Director for 
Intelligence, Douglas MacEachin. testified that "U.S. policy, in terms of constraining arms 
shipments into Bosnia from the Croatian side had never been pursued with the same vigor that 
they had been on the Serbian side."'" 

The Banholomew advice delivered one year prior to the meeting among Ambassador 
Galbraith. Special Envoy Redman and President Tudjman represented the first indication by a 
senior U.S. Government ofTicial that enforcement of the embargo would not be pursued 

A Call to Action in Bosnia. 

In February 1994. a mortar attack on Sarajevo's marketplace led to renewed United States 
diplomatic acti\ity oh Bosnia. Already deeply engaged in a parallel but separate effoit to end the 

*' Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 51. 

~ Bartholomew Subconuninee Dep. at 41. 

^ Select Subcommittee Deposition of Doug MacEachin, Sept. 6, 1996. at 58 (hereinafter 
"MacEachin Subcommittee. Dep."). 



vicious fightinj; between Bosnian Muslims and Croats, the Clinton Administration spearheaded 
the successful etTort to issue a NATO ultimatum to entorce a weapons exclusion zone around 
Sarajevo. At the same time. President Clinton reiterated L niied States interests in Bosnia. The 
policy of the United States toward Bosnia was intended to help prevent the Bosnian conflict from 
becoming a broader European conflict maintain NATO as a credible fouc for peace in the post- 
Cold War era. help stem the de-stabilizing flows of refugees in the region, and stop the 
strangulation of Sarajevo and the slaughter of innocents."' 

Unfortunately, the United States had few good choices in pursuing its objective, m earlv 
1994. The first option was to increase U.S. military involvement in the conflict. The second 
option was to lift the arms embargo multilateralK . The third option was to lifl the arms embargo 
unilaterally. The first option had the obvious and sigiuficant downside of committing U.S. 
troops to a combat situation and was rejected on the grounds that it was unlikely to command or 
sustain public support. The second option had to be abandoned when the Administration was 
unable to gamer the support of the allies for such an approach. The third and only remaintng^ 
option, preferred by a growing number in Congress, w as opposed by the Administration for fear 
that it would lead to the withdrawal of UNPROFOR, the abandonment of the U.N. humanitarian 
mission in Bosnia, the flouting of U.N. embargoes by other countries, and the Americanization 
of the conflict.^ 

■' President Clinton's weekly radio address. Feb. 19. 1994, as reported by Federal News 
Service transcript. 

"' Berger Subcomminee Int. At 4. 



Securing the Federation Agreement. 

In March 1994. a positive new development re-energized the Clinton Administration's 
efforts. Bosnia's Muslims and Croats signed a feJeration chaner in Washington, and ended a 
year of bloodshed between the t\^■o groups. The Federation Agreement had political, military and 
humanitarian significance. In addition to ending the fighting, the Agreement f.eed Bosnian and 
Croat forces to direct their military- and political attention towards the Bosnian Serbs, opened the 
w ay for increased aid supplies to pass through Croatian territory to Bosnia, and reduced the le\ el 
of human rights violatioi.^. * - • 

According to the former Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia. Charles Redman, who 
was the principal negotiator of the Federation Agreement, the primary benefit of the Federation 
was to stop the war which would sa\e lives, strengthen the hand of the Bosnian government 
through the strategic alliance, and keep the Croatians on the right side. The real strategic 
objective, however, according to Redman '^^as to form the basis that w e could build on for an 
overall agreement in Bosnia." Once the Federation was formed. Redman testified that he 
"immediately went back to work to try to contact then the Bosnian-Serb leadership to see if we 
could then build on that into an overall Bosnian settlement"^' 

The war between the Muslims and Croats had produced some of the most brutal fighting 
of the Balkan war, and had cost thousands of lives. The Federation .\greement represented the 
first step to an overall peace between the combatants. However, it was a "fragile animal" ' that 

^* Redman Subcomminee Dep. at 27. 
" Id. at 35. 




could collapse unless nurtured carefully. Keeping the Federation together had to be added to the 
United States policy objectives stated by President Clinton the previous month. •" Special Envoy 
Charles Redman testified that distrust existed between the Croats and Muslims even as they 
became closer because we could not "just ... put them together in a federation and suddenly they 
forgot the past." "* 

Pressure to Lift the Embargo. 

In early 1994, the Administration was faced with additional pressure to "do something" 
in response to the Serbs* continued siege of Sarajevo and attacks on civilians in the U.N. 
declared safe haven of Gorazde. Members of Congress, the press, and the American public, 
largely sympathetic to the plight of the Muslims, began to step up calls for lifting the arms 
embargo." Throughout the spring and summer of 1994, Congress voted several times on 
measures that demonstrated full support for the termination of the embargo. Although a 
consensus formed on the need to lift the embargo, the question of whether it should be done 
unilaterally or multilaterally remained. " 

*• Id. at 37. 

-" Id. at 36. 

"* The Majority asserts that Ambassador Galbraith made it clear that he was sympathetic 
to the plight of the Bosnian Muslims and that he was convinced that the Bosnian Muslims were 
desperately in need of weaponry. Majority Report, at 77-78. His views were, in fact, consistent 
with those of a majority of those in Congress. 

" See Chapter One, Section Three for a more detailed discussion of Congressional action. 



The Administration rejected calls to go it alone in Bosnia At a news conference on April 
20. 1994. President Clinton described the situation in Sarajevo. Gora/de and elsewhere in Bosnia 
as "increasingly grim" and a "setback for the momentum achie\ ed in recent months." but he 
placed a significant premium on "working with our allies, the Russians, and others" to "help the 
waning part;°s in Bosnia to reach a negotiated settlement.""" U.S. leadership and allied 
solidarity had yielded some small, but significant steps in Bosnia. Secretar. of State Christopher 
testified that the effectiveness of a NATO ultimatum to place all heavy weapons threatening 
Sarajevo under United Nations control or to remo\ e the heavy \\ eapons to a t\\ enty kilor";ter 
exclusion zone around the city was due in large measure to the firmness and solidarity of the 
NATO alliance which was !ed in this instance by the United States.'' The allies also shared the 
U.S. goal of creating and maintaining a federation between the Bosnians Muslims and Croats as 
an instrument to maintain the peace between Bosnian Muslims and Croats and provide the basis 
for a quicker settlement to stop the war.""* 

The Administration was committed to actions and policies that reduced to a minimum the 
potential for a withdrawal from Bosnia by UNPROFOR. For purposes of the Select 
Subcommittee invetrtigation. the debate over unilaterally lifting the embargo need not be 
rehashed. The depth of opposition to a unilateral lifl within the Administration is important to 

'■ The President's News Conference. Public pzpcTZ of the President. Apr. 20. 1994. 

" Hearing on Foreign Policy Overview and Budgetary Resources, 103d Congress., 2d 
Sess. (1994XstaJement of Warren Christopher, U.S. Secretary of State to the Senate Committee 
on Foreign Relations, Feb. 23. 1994. at 6). 

" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 80. 



note, however, because it influenced how the Administration would respond to the Croatian 
question. The Administration believed a withdrawal would expose the Bosnian Muslim militar>' 
and civilian population to certain death and destruction and create a humanitarian and military 
vacuum which U.S. troops might have been forced to fill. The Clinton Administration also 
believed that an UNPROFOR withdrawal would increase the likelihood ihat U.<s. ground forces 
would be required to live up to the longstanding U.S. commitment entered into by the Bush 
Administration to help the NATO allies extract their troops if and when such an extraction 
became necessar\ . '* " * 

On April 20, President Clinton outlined his concerns about a unilateral lifting of the 

First, I \\ ould say that if we ignore a United Nations embargo because we think it has no 
moral basis or even any legal validity but everyone else feels contrary, then what is to 
stop our United Nations allies from ignoring embargoes that we like, such as the embargo 
against Saddam Hussein?. . . Secondly, what are the practical problems with raising the 
arms embargo? [)o the Croats, who now have this agreement with the Muslims, support 
it? Will it be facilitated? How long would it take to get there? Would that increase Serb 
aggression in the short run while we're waiting for the arms to be delivered? There arc a 
lot ofpractical problems with it. Do I favor lifting it? I do. Do I believe the allies with 
whom we are working now would vote to support it? I don't" 

In June. Secretary Christopher outlined what the Administration, in cooperation with the 

NATO allies, had accomplished in Bosnia. An agreement had been negotiated between the 

Bosnian Muslims and the Croats to end their year-long war, the shelling of Sarajevo had ceased, 

and the exclusion zones around Sarajevo and Gorazde were being enforced. The continuing 

violence, he said, made "it \iul that the parties come to a political senlement." The Secretary 

" Berger Subcommittee Int. at 4. 
** President's News Conference. Apr. 20, 1994. 



emphasized ihe importance of working with Russia and other European partners in Ihe Contact 

Group on a proposal to fomi the basis Tor a negotiated settlement. Secretar> Christopher testified 


"it would be a tragic mistake to undemiine the settlement process which is now quite 
promising; to undermine it by unilaterally lifting the arms embargo at this moment. That 
would break the cohesion of the NATO alliance." Secretary Christophwr. asserting U.S. 
leadership in ensuring that other embargoes were maintained, continued: " It could lead to 
a general collapse of U.N. sanctions as an effective instrument in international affairs, and 
it could undermine our efTorts in such situations as Iraq and Libya." 

Of course, many in Congress believed equally strongly that the United States had a 

moral obligation to help the Bost.ians. and that conditioning U.S. policy on a consensus anionic 

our allies made neither good political nor good military sense. Many were calling for a lifting of 

the anns embargo and. for some of these Members, the immediate objective was using United 

States air power to force a Bosnian Serb w ithdrawal from the threatened Bosnian population and 

areas and forcing the Serbs to pay a price for its aggression. 

The Croatian Question - 1994 

In the morrhs prior to April 1994. contact between the Iranians, Bosnians, and Croatians 
increased including, in particular, discussion of trade relations and arms deals." The discussions 
intensified with the signing of the Federation Agreement. A memo produced by the State 
Department Intelligence and Research Bureau in November 1993. foreshadowed what was to 
occur a few short months later. | 

" (Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 30. 1994, transcript pp-H- 12) 
'* See Chapter Three, Section One for discussion of Iranian presence in Bosnia. 



B> the spring of 1994. those conditions appeared 
to be in place^^^w^^ 

The question posed by President Tudjman to Ambassador Peter Galbraith shortly after 
the signing of the Federation Agreement echoed almost exactly the question put to Special 
Envoy Bartholomew one year earlier, "Would the US. object if Croatia were to allow weapons 
to transit Croatia en route f^ "^osiva?" The question came amidst ongoing discussions with'i the ' 
Administration on how to respond to the Bosnian crisis, and more specifically, how to address 
the arms embargo issue. The Administration response was not in lieu of a decision on lift, and 
indeed, the lift debate continued throughout the summer in the Congress and in the press. 

Administration policy makers outlined three options in answering President Tudjman. 
The first option was to say that the United States objected. The second option was to say that the 
United States did not object. The third was to say that the United States had no instructions.**" 
Deputy Secretary Talbott testified that the "no instructions" option was a diplomatic way of 
saying that we neither approved of nor objected to what the Croatians were proposing. " Deput>- 
Assistant Secretary Vershbow testified that "no instructions" was a "way to neither endorse nor 

* Select Subcommittee Deposition of Strobe Talbott Sept. 5. 1996. at 42-43 (hereinafter 
"Talbott Subcommittee. Dep.") Berger Subcomminee Int. at 4. 

" SSCI Deposition of Deputy Secretarv- Strobe Talbott, Apr. 23. 1996, at 21. 



approve of something."'' 

The downside to the "no instructions" response was the likelihood that Iran would be a 

probable supplier. Deputy Secretary Talbott testified that: 

[AJfter careful consideration we decided that the consequences of any other answer would 
be worse. If we had said yes to the Croatians, that is. if we had explicitly, affirmatively 
approved the transshipment it would have put us in the position of actively and 
unilaterally supporting a violation of the arms embargo. The public disclosure of such a 
posture would have caused severe strains with our allies who had troops on the ground in 
Bosnia as part of U>fPROFOR and who naturally were giving priority to the safety of 
their own people on the ground.*' 

!f the allies had discovered that the !Jnited States had endorsed the shipments, a withdrawal of 

UNPROFOR might have been triggered. Withdrawal could ha\ e required a substantial U.S. 

troop deployment as part of a very dangerous and costly NATO extraction effort. " 

On the other hand, saying no to the Croatian request also would have had negative 
consequences. If. as a result of explicit U.S. disapproval of the transshipments, the Croatian 
government had shut down the arms pipeline; the Federation of .Muslims and Croats would have 
been undermined and perhaps destroyed. In addition, the objection might very well have denied 
the Muslims the arms essential to their survival." 

The **no instructions" response avoided these serious problems and embodied existing 
policy. According to Deputy Secretary Talbott: 

■*• Vershbow Subconuninee Dep., at 30. 

" Talbon SSCI Dep. at 20-21 ; Berger at Subconuninee Int at 4. 

"Id. at 21. 

*' Talbott Select Subcommittee Dep. at 43. 




It is our honest judgment thai the exchange thai we had with the Croatians in April 1994 
did not constitute a change in policy. It was a specific confidential diplomatic exchange 
that was consistent with and supponive of a pohcy that had been in place for some time. . 
.The back and forth with the Croatians that we are discussing here was totally consistent 
with and supponive of that policy.'" 

The "no instructions" response neither signaled a change in the United States reaction towards 

arms shipments through Croatia, nor signaled a change in the United Staies" compliance with the 

embargo. In fact, the "no instructions" response was virtually identical to the response by 

Special Envoy Bartholomew to Defense Minister Susak one year earlier. 

The Administration oelieved that the Croats would maintain tight control on the type of 

weapons which were being shipped to Bosnia, and that they would not allow weapons which it 

considered a threat to Croatia to enter Bosnia.'" Ambassador Galbraith testified that the United 

States had no control over the arms shipments to Bosnia, although the United States was 

interested in collecting as much information as possible: 

(Vr^hat went in was overwhelmingly, perhaps exclusively small arms and weapons that 
were intended to enable the Bosnian Army to defend itself and the Bosnians to survive. 
And the Croats had no interest in the Bosnians acquiring any significant offensive or any 
significant heavy weapon, slash high tech weapons capability.'' 

As theUHH^IHHttcstified, the decision to allow transshipments was a "double edged 
sword" for the Croats, and "the Croats were worried about what sorts of weapons the Muslim 
forces would get and specifically they didn't want heavy weapons to get to the Muslims because 

** Talbott SSCI Dep. at 36-37. 

" Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 1 14-15. 

*• Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 76-77. 



they feared they would ultimately be used against the Croats.""( 

In fact, the Bosnian Croats advaniaye in and control of weapons had been a factor in the 
outbreak of war between the Bosnian Croats and .vtuslims the previous year. Croatian forces in 
Bosnia could rely on their patrons in Zagreb for weapons supplies, whereas the Bosnian Muslims 
were at Zagreb's mercy. U.S. officials were concerned that denying the Bosnians weapons might 
lead to a break -down of the Federation and a resumption of war. '° 

In instructing Ambassador Galbraith to tell the Croatian Government that he had "no 
instructions" with regard lu Croatia allowing arms to transit Croatia en route to Bosnia, the ' ' 
Clinton Administration walked a fine line bet\veen being sensitive lo the allies* concerns on the 
one hand, and not blocking the means of Bosnian survival on the other 

The Downside — Iran. 

In considering how to respond to President Tudjman's question, the Administration was 
aware that Iran had been supplying arms and, absent a clear signal to oppose further 
transshipment of weapons, would continue to supply arms to the Bosnian Muslims. 
Admimstration officials acknowledge continuation of the "Iranian connection" was the most 
significant dow-nside to the no instructions response." 

** Select Subconunittee Deposition of§glfgfgM\ug. 9. 1996, at 147-48 (hereinafter 
Subcommittee Dep.")- ^ ^^ *""" 

" Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 27. 

" Talbon Select Subcommittee Dep. at 34. For a discussion of the extent to which Iran 
was involved in the region between 1991- 1996, see Chapter Three. Section One. 



As discussed previously, the Iranian arms flow was noi triggered by the Administrations 

"no instructions" response. 

Some believe, incorrectly, that our decision opened the way lo Iranian influence in 
Bosnia. By April of 1994. there were hundreds of Iranian mujahideen and Revolutionarv 
Guards in Bosnia. So the Croatians" question to us in April of 94 was not an invitation to 
open a door that had been closed to the Iranians. That door was already open. Had we 
tried to slam it shut, we might very well have also shut down the relationship that was 
developing between Croatia and the Federation. .\nd that lesult could have, I believe 
almost certainly would have, kept us from ever getting to Dayton.'" 

Iran was, moreover, just one of several countries poised to increase the supply and 
financing of weapons to Bosnia in the wake of the Federation Agreement. President Tudjmans 
question was a generic one. "The question from Tudjman \\ as not can we transship Iranian"' 
arms, it was can we tranship arms. .\nd we were witting of course to the fact that a significant 
portion of those arms were Iranian, but it was not Iran only."'' 

According to Assistant Secretary Richard Holbrooke, the .Administration was faced w ith 

a set of "lousy choices." " 

.\s we negotiated we oflen thought of historical analogies. The one that came to mind 
here was Winston Churchill's famous comments about why Britain made cotiunon cause 
with Stalin against Hitler. I don't want to put this up into that same level of history. But 
it was a legitimate decision for Churchill and he knew full well the consequences. Here 
at a much smaller scale, this was done. . . and as soon as the cease fire was in place, as 

■= Talbott SSCI Dep. at 22. 

'' Emphasis added. 

•'■' Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 48. 

" SSCI Hearing, Statement of Assistant Secretary Richard Holbrooke, May 21, 1996, at 
48 (hereinafter "Holbrooke SSCI Dep."). 



soon as we got to Dayton, we dealt with it. And it has been dealt with."" 
The Holbrooke reference to dealing with it concerns the Dauon requirement that foreign forces 
leave Bosnia as a condition precedent to United States "equip and train" efforts. In an equally 
apt analogy, Holbrooke testified: "When the patient is dying, you first give him oxygen and then 
worry about »he source of the oxygen later. And those Iranian shipments. . . kept the patient 

The Allies. 

In the spring of 1994, there were more than 14,300 UNPROFOR troops on the ground in 
Bosnia and another 14.500 in Croatia. Of these, more than 15,000 were from NATO countries, 
and the bulk of those were from Britain and France. While the Clinton .Administration faNored 
lifting the arms embargo, the allies were adamantly opposed to terminating the embargo. There 
was a particular concern among the allies that the Bosnian Serbs might target NATO troops if 
weapons from a NATO country were seen to be reaching the Bosnian Muslims. According to 
U.S. Ambassador to NATO Robert Hunter, the allies "fear<ed) that weapons would reach forces 
and they might be '.ised against their troops, or in any event, lead to an escalation and make 
anyone associated with NATO more \-ulncrable."" In public testimony before the Senate Aimed 
Services Committee in June 1994, represenutives of the defense ministries of NATO countries 

** Id. at 50. 

'" Holbrooke Subcommittee Dep. at 50. 

" Select Subcomminee Deposition of Ambassador Robert Hunter, at 40 (hereinafter 
"Hunter Subcomminee Dep."). 



with troops on the ground (Denmark. France. Spain, and the United Kingdom) opposed the 
lifting of the arms embargo. The witnesses testified that the hfiing of the embargo would force 
UNPROFOR to w ithdraw and would inevitably lead to increased L'.S. involvement in the 
conflict. " 

The Administration took into account allied concerns when decidi.ig hov to respond to 
President Tudjman's question. Sensitive to allied reaction, the Administration sought to keep the 
exchange between President Tudjman and Ambassadors Redman and Galbraith quiet. Accordine 
lo Strobe Talbott, "we w-eie om'ed as hell about leaks. . ."^ 

Special Envoy Redman testified that despite the fact that the "no instructions" response 

confirmed what was already U.S. policy, discretion about the exchange that he and Ambassador 

Galbraith had with President Tudjman was critical: 

(I)t had implications for our dealings w ith our allies, because they knew we were trying to 
lift the arms embargo. They knew that arms were flow ing to the Bosnian go\emment 
before this decision as well as after this decision. But it was still important. And it was 
obviously important to them, because it actually played out this way, whereas they had 
said that UNPROFOR would be out of the country if the United States imilaterally lifted 
the arms embargo. When all of thes: reports which started to flow publicly shortly 
thereafter, and we shared that information with the allies as well, they didn't make those 
threats and they didn't pull out of U">IPROFOR. So it was to me a very important 
distinction th:t we had not, ourselves, said we are going to do it and do it. It [2.-ms flows] 
did happen to be happening. So it was important, I think that it be handled in a discreet 

" "Impact of a Unilateral United Suies Lifting of the Anns Embargo on the Government 
of Bosnia-Herzegovina," Hearing before the Committee on Armed Services, United States 
Senate. One Hundred Third congress. Second session, June 23, 1994, at 1-21. 

'^ Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 46. 
" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at S8-S9. 



While the allies might not have known about the panicular exchange that occurred in 

April 1994, they did become aware of increased amis flows to the Bosnian Muslims. Moreover. 

the allies, like the United States, did not object to ihe weapons transfers, .-vmbassador Galbraith 

recalled discussing the issue of arms transfers with his European colleagues -- most likely the 

Russian and German ambassadors-- and perhaps the British and French ambassadors: 

(T)here had been press stories suggesting that arms were. . . flow ing through Croatia to 
the Bosnians and noting that the United States was looking the other way. winking, 
nodding, whatever the terminology. And I remember this coming up at some occasion 
which I was with the other ambassadors and. . . I simply took note of this and I said, have 
any of you guys o'ujwCted.' And what I remember well is that not one of them had evtrr 
objected. Not one of theii governments had issued a demarche to the Croatian 
Government for its role in facilitating the transit of weapons to the Bosnian Government. 
And I made note that, as I recall it. that their position was identical to ours."' 

The allies were prepared to live with the consequences of the "no instructions" response; 

had they been informed of the exchange, however, the allies might ha\e been obliged to protest. 

Additional British Concerns. 

The British Government, however, did share their concerns about the increase in arms 
shipments from Middle Eastern countries to Bosnia with the United States government. A 
primary British concern appeared to be that hea\y weapons, which could pose an increased threat 
to allied troops, not reach Bosnia. The concerns never rose beyond the level of diplomatic 
discussions, and the British did not raise the issue publicly, suggesting that they did not judge the 
Middle Eastern arms flows to be of a level significant enough to threaten their troops. Nor did 
the fact that the United States refrained from objecting to the shipments stand in the way of the 

*^ Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 1 16. 



allied diplomatic etYons which culminated in the Da>lon accords. 

Reaction to L'nilateral Lift and to Sunn-Mitchell. 

The allies' reaction to proposals for unilateral lifi and to the adoption of the Nunn- 
Mitchell amendment stand in sharp contrast to their reaction to the clandestine flow of weapons 
from Middle Eastern countries through Croatia to Bosnia. A series of articles in the European 
press is highly critical of the U.S. decision to prohibit the use of Department of Defense funds for 
enforcement of the arms en-^. rgo For example, ".Xlain Juppe. French foreign minister, said the 
U.S. withdrawal from enforcing the arms embargo against Bosnia favored those who wanted war 
against those who wanted peace. Mr. Francois Leotard, the French defense minister, threatened 
to withdraw French troops from Bosnia in the event of "one more step' in the wxong direction."*' 
The French Presidential spokesman Jean Musitelli went further: "We regret that our American 
allies have acted unilaterally, and without giving much concern for their allies on the ground." ** 
British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd described the expected United States unilateral move as 
"a worrying development" while Danish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen described a 
lifting of the embargo as a "bad signal."*' 

The implementation of the Nunn-Mitchell amendment also fueled speculation among the 

" Lionel Barber and Bruce Clark, FtenclLattaclLLIS-policy-onBosiiiaLRow highlights 
drifting apart of! 'S and its European allies. The Financial Times, Nov. 1 7, 1994, at 2. 

** EranccBiitain SlamAiS-oyenEmhargaPullQul, Agence France Presse, Nov. 18, 1994. 

*' European allies_iirilatcdby.U5.BQsmaJ>ecision. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Nov. 11, 



allies thai the U.S. was actively involved in a coven operation to help the Bosnians. "America's 

decision to stop enforcing the amis embargo against the Bosnian Muslims has split N.MO and 

opened a Pandora's box of accusations about the U.S. secret agenda in the Balkans"^ and 

[R]ecent reports in Europe that the United States is co\ enly aiding the Bosnian Muslims 
are strongly denied by .American officials and appear to be inaccurate in many details. 
The frequency of these stories, based on claims by unidentified European officials" and 
United Nations officers, increased last week af^er the Clinton Administration decided to 
stop enforcing a regional arms embargo against Bosnia's Muslim-led government." 

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Robert Hunter said that "There was a concern about the time 

of the Nunn-Mitchell that the United States was going to leave allies \Tjlnerable to the movement 

of arms."*' A primary concern of the allies appears to be that the prominent U.S. role in 

unilateral lift and/or Nunn-Mitchell threatened the cohesion of the alliance. The gist of those 

concerns was that "this would bring their troops under greater threat. Some of them, like the 

French, also argued that this show ed the United States was violating the U.N. provisions and also 

was not pulling its weight as an ally." In fact, the United States was not involved directly in 

weapons flows from the Middle East. Nor did the arms flows include heav^ weapons of the kind 

that would constitute a grave threat to UKPROFOR troops on the groun(». 

" Ed Vulliamy. Ame rica's Secret Bosnia Agenda, The Observer, Nov. 20, 1994, at 16. 

*^ Secretary Christopher sent Undersecretary TamofTto Paris to reassure French officials 
that the United States was not supplying aims to the Bosnians, and to stem rumors of a U.S. 
covert operation. Select Subcommittee Deposition of Peter Tamoff, Sept. 13, 1996, at 27-28. 
(heremafler "Tamoff Subcomminee Dep ") 

** John Pomfret, U.S. Denies Furopean Claims it is Aiding Bo snian MiiOims , 
International Herald Tribune, Nov. 21. 1994. 

" Hunter Subcomminee Dep. at 22. 

'• Id. at 43. 



It is also important to note that to the allies the issue of concern was arms shipments to 
the Bosnians and not the role of the Iranians in the arms shipments. Fourteen of the fifteen 
NATO allies have diplomatic relations with Iran. According to Ambassador Hunter, not all of 
our European allies share the U.S. goal of isolating Iran: "Some do to some degree and some 
believe in what they call, I guess, constructive engagement. Constructive dialogue is the phrase 
used by the Germans.""' This difference in allies' views of Iran may explain why there is no 
evidence of European allies expressing specific concern that Iran was the source of some of the 
arms reaching Bosnia. 

Privately, NATO allies expressed some dismay at the break in allied cohesion upon the 

revelation by the U.S. press in April 1996 of the "no instructions" response. Although 

Ambassador Hunter can recall no specific complaints or comments from NATO allies upon the 

publication in April 1996 of press reports about the "no instructions" response, he testified that 

he did receive some comments. 

If I recall correctly by the timing, the war was over, IFOR was deployed, IFOR 
was being successful, and it was a tenor of we are surprised you did this, you 
shouldn't have done it, but that is history, in the sense that it did not pose at that 
occasion of revelation, an ongoing threat to allied forces. ^ 

Unlike the reaction to Nunn-Mitchell. European governments' public reaction to the 
press accounts was muted. The British Parliament, for example, did not raise the issue with 
Briti&ii Ministers during the regular questioning period. European press accounts of the 

"Id. at 47. 
"" Id. at 50. 



revelation of the Middle East pipeline in April 1996 largely recount the Los Angeles Times 
stories and describe plans in the United States Congress to investigate the allegations. They offer 
little commentary, and do not include responses b> European leaders. ' 

Results of United States Policy. 

The weapons flow during 1994 and 1995 helped the Bosnians survive until such time as 
the circumstances were ripe for a negotiated peace. Weapons deli\ered to the Bosnians 
throughout 1994 and 199i were'probabiy not the decisi\e factor in bringing the Serbs to the" ' 
negotiating table; weapons delivered to the Croatians may have been a more important factor. 
The Croatians were in fact, receiving a cut of at least one third of the weapons being sent to 
Bosnia. They were also engaged in arms deals of their own. Croatia had a stake in allowing 
weapons to transit its territory. The Croatians' goal was to "keep (the Bosnians) in the war or at 
least operating effectively and to tie down the Serbs. It's largely a question of geography in that 
the Croats' main goal was to retake the occupied parts of Croatia and the Serb forces where were 
linked to the Serb forces in Bosnia. The degree to which the Croats could pin those forces in 
place would make it easier to launch their attack in occupied Croatia.""* In the summer of 1995. 
the Croatians did retake those occupied territories, and together with Muslim forces, did put 

Gingrich an nou n ce s prob e o f l r a n ia n ai ms s h ip ments to Ro<mia ,"Agfnfj; France Presse. 
Apr. 24, 1996; Iranian Arms Jo Bo snia was 'arr e ptahle risk'- Ppnia£fin , Agence France Presse. 
Apr. 25, 1996; Tom Rhodes, Cli nto n A pproved Iran's Sfc ret Ann<; Deals with RoCTiia, The 
Times, Apr. 6, 1996. Rupert Comwell and Mary Dejevsky. riintnn Hit hy Row over Iranian 
Arms, The Independent, Apr. 8, 1996, at 10. 

Subcommittee Dep. at 148. 



pressure on Serb forces in Bosnia. These factors, combined with NATO air strikes against the 

Serbs, created incentives for the Serbs to cut a deal 

According to Richard Holbrooke: 

(T)he fundamental policy was absolutely correct, and without it. the Bosnian government 
would never have survived the winter of 1994-95. and we never would have gotten to 
Dayton. It is as simple as that. Sarajevo was in desperate shape a; that point, having 
barely survived its war with the Croats, and being under continual assault from the 
Serbs'' . . . Policy sometimes offers you only lousy choices. And we took the least lousy 
choice and I believe that the outcome more than justified the decision ... the record will 
show that the decision of April 94 resulted in the survival of the Bosnians through the 
winter of 94-95. and into the summer. ° 

In going no further than "no instructions" and remaining discreet, the United States 
a\oided an allied break on Bosnia. Maintaining consensus among the NATO allies with respect 
to NATO air strikes and international sanctions on Serbia was no easy matter." Had the United 
States gone further than "no instructions" and actually endorsed the shipping of weapons to 
Bosnia, the Clinton Administration believed the sometimes uneasy alliance over Bosnia might 
have collapsed. 

The alliance did hold together over Bosnia, however. The United States, NATO, and 
other allied for:es are serving side by side in IFOR and also are working together to implement 
the civilian aspects of the Dayton Accords. The IFOR arrangements are unprecedented and have 
been highly successful.^ 

*' Holbrooke SSCI Dep. at 26. 
'* Id. at 48-49. 

" Hunter Subcommittee Dep. at 37. 
" Hunter Subconunittee Dep. at 47. 



H'hy the Policy Worked. 

(I)n the wake of our 1994 April answer to the Croatians -- and I would contend partly as a 
consequence of it -- the following happened. The Bosnian armed forces held on and 
began to counterattack. The Federation survived to become a cornerstone of the Dayton 
Agreement. We averted a crisis in the alliance. UNPROFOR remained in place, 
providing humanitarian supplies and helping the Bosnians through another brutal winter. 
We bought time for a combination of American diplomacy, NATO air power, and 
Croatian and Bosnian military victories to reach an historic peace agreement under 
United States leadership in Dayton. The United States is leading an international effort to 
arm Bosnia today. The Iranian presence there is down to a handfiil and increasingly 
marginalized. ... a tough decision tumed out to be the right decision." 

It was Dayton that gave us a chance to get the Iranians out of Bosnia. And the Dayton 
accords, we insisted on and achieved a commitment to the !emo\ al of all foreign forces ' 
from Bosnia. VA-'hile we remain concerned by any remaining Iranian influence in Bosnia 
to this day. and continue to insist that foreign forces leave the country, very substantial 
progress has been made on this issue, largely through determined American leadership.'" 

This much is clear. In 1994, Bosnia was embroiled in a bitter \\ar that threatened to spill 
over to other parts of Europe. U.S. leadership helped bring an end to the fighting among the 
Bosnian Muslims. Croats, and Serbs, to the rape and torture, to the mass executions, and to the 
sniper attacks on civilians; it has helped create the conditions to build a new Bosnian state, and 
stopped the war from spreading. In early 1994, hundreds of Iranians were present in Bosnia and 
Croatia. Today, the Iranian fighters have been forced out. 

The peace in Bosnia may be fragile, but it is simplistic and simply wrong to suggest, as 
does the Majority, that any tenuousness in the peace can be blamed on the "no instructions" 

" Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 23-24. 
•» Talbott SSCI Dep. at 22. 



response." If in the worst case scenario, the peace does not hold, it will be because of reasons far 
more complex than the U.S. deliver>- of a "no instructions" response to President Tudjman. 

" Majority report at 194-95. 



Chapter One 
Section Three 


The Administration did not develop its Bosnian policy in a vacuum. The Congress was 
involved actively in a public debate throughout the period of the arms embargo. However, the 
debate probably was most intense during late 1993 and into the fall of 1994. Like the Clinton 
Administration, the Congress was increasingly concerned about the situation on the ground in 
Bosnia. Like the Administraticn.'the Congress had to choose between a series of difficult - ' 
options. Like the Administration, the Congress wanted to end the arms embargo against Bosnia. 
But, unlike the Administration, many in Congress believed the United States should withdraw 
unilaterally from the arms embargo if the allies refused to end it multilalerally. 

Congressional Action on the Arms Embargo. 

As early as 1992, the United States Congress was on record in support of U.S. arms 
transfers to the Bosnian Government subsequent to the lifting of the arms embargo. In the 
summer of 1992. the Congress adopted the Biden amendment to the Fiscal Year ("FY" j 1993 
Foreign Operations, Export FinarKing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act,' authorizing 
the President, pursuant to a lifting of the United Nations embargo, to transfer S50 million in 
defense articles to the Bosnian government In 1993, a similar amendment was adopted to the 

' Fiscal Year 1993 Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs 
Appropriations Act, P.L. 102-391. 



FY1994 Foreign Operations appropriations bill. • In 19')3, however, calls to lift the international 
arms embargo against the Bosnian government -- or at least for the U.S. to provide arms to the 
Bosnians in spite of the embargo -- began to accelerate. In June, the House Foreign Affairs 
Committee adopted a Hyde amendment to the FY 1994 State Department authorization bill 
authorizing the President to provide S200 million in military equipment to 'he Bosnian 
government, in spite of the arms embargo. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted a 
similar amendment to the FY 1994 foreign aid authorization bill, after considering an 
amendment by Senator Lug?- to require unilateral termination of the embargo. Several 
Congressional resolutions considered in 1993 called for the multilateral lifting of the embargo as 
one part of an overall policy to bring an end to the war in Bosnia.' 

In 1994, calls for the lifting of the arms embargo against Bosnia intensined. In January 
1994. despite the strong opposition of the .Administration, the Senate voted eighty-seven to nine 
in favor of a nonbinding Dole amendment to the State Department authorization bill' to terminate 
the United States participation in the arms embargo. The deteriorating situation in Bosnia, most 
notably the February shelling of the Sarajevo marketplace and the Serb siege of Gorazde in April 
1994, led to continued pressure from Members of Congress from both parties to lift the arms 
embargo. Impatient v^ith the pace of United States and European diplomatic activity, many 

- Fiscal Year 1994 Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs 
Appropriations Act, P.L. 103-87. 

' Julie Kim and Dianne E. Rennack, BosniaJlerccgovina Conflict andJhe-LQ3d 
rnngTg jtsr Policy neha te«i and <;iimmary of Major Legislation. CRS Report 94-1008F, Dec.l2. 
1994, at 27-28. 

■* U.S. Department of Stole Authorization Act P.L. 103-236 



Members concluded that the level of human rights violations in Bosnia had to be stopped even at 
the risk of damaging relations with our European allies. 

Beginning in the spring of 1994. the Congress devoted an extraordinary amount of 
legislative and debate lime to the arms embargo issue. In May 1994. Senators Dole and 
Lieberman introduced S. 2042, mandating the termination of the United States arms embargo on 
Bosnia and Hercegovina. The debate on S. 2042 made clear that Members were virtually 
unanimous about the need to lift the embargo, but divided about whether the United States 
should break ranks with the allies ?nd lift the embargo unilaterally.' 

United Nations Security Council Resolution 713 prohibited all member states from 
shipping arms to the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Subsequent U.N. Resolutions 740 and 
787 called upon all members to enforce the embargo against shipments by other countries. The 
Dole-Lieberman measure purported to relie%e the United States of its obligation under U.N. 
Security Resolution 7 1 3 and to end U.S. panicipation in enforcement activities. First, the Dole- 
Lieberman bill would have terminated the United Sutes arms embargo against Bosnia. Second, 
the bill would have prohibited the President or any other member of the E.xecutive branch from 
interfering with the transfer of arms to the Govemmcnt of Bosnia. In effect, the measure would 
have allowed the United States to ship arms and would have prevented the United States from 
enforcing the embargo against any third country seeking to transfer w eapons to Bosnia.* Senator 
Dole later modified the measure to eliminate the possibility that the nonenforcement of the arms 

' Cong. Rec. S5607-S5627 (daily ed. May 12, 1994). 

* The measure also made clear that it should not be interpreted as an authorization for the 
deployment of U.S. troops to Bosnia for any purpose. 



embargo would inadvertently allow the transfer of nuclear or other advanced weapons to Bosnia. 
The modincation provided that only conventional weapons appropriate to the self-defense of 
Bosnia would be allowed. At no lime Jid the moJificuiion or the original measure make any 
attempt to exclude Iranian shipments or otherwise limit the source of weapons. 

Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell introduced an aliemative amendment to S.2042 
directing the President to seek the agreement of the NATO allies to temiinate the embargo 
multilaterally, and to propose or support a United Nations Security Council resolution to lift the 
embargo. If the embargoVcre not lifted, the Mitchell amendment directed the President to 
consult with the Congress within five days regarding the unilateral lifting of the embargo. The 
amendment further instructed the President, upon the tennination of the embargo, to ensure that 
appropriate military assistance was pro\'ided io Bosnia. The Mitchell amendment also approved 
and authorized the use of United States air power to implement the NATO exclusion zones 
around United Nations designated sate areas and to protect United Nations forces. 

On May 12, after e.xtensive debate, the Senate passed the Dole-Lieberman measure as 
well as the Mitchell amendment, by identical votes of SO to 49, and proceeded to pass the 
underlying bill with the two conflicting measures, by voice vote. While the votes left no doubt 
that the Senate favored lifting the embargo, it sent a mixed message on whether the United States 
should do so unilaterally. The House Appropriatiotis Committee rejected a Hoyer amendment to 
the FY 1995 Foreign Operations appropriations bill which would have barred funds for 
enforcement of the embargo. However, the House subsequently adopted a McCloskey Oilman 

' Cong. Rec. S 5415 (daily ed. May 10, 1994) (statement of Sen. Dole). 



amendment to the FY 1995 Defense authorization bill directing the President to temiinate the 
arms embargo and authorizing up to S200 million in militar> assistance. An alternative 
amendment sponsored by Representative Hamiltot. supporting NATO and L'.N. efforts to 
enhance Bosnia's ability to contribute to its defense was defeated. 

The House debate on June 9. 1994, echoed the one that occurred in the Senate a few- 
weeks earlier. Proponents of the McCloskey amendment argued that concerns about the situation 
on the ground in Bosnia should override any concern about the views of our NATO allies. 
Congressman Hyde argued tJiat **America is too important and too moral a country to avert ifc" 
eyes from genocide and ethnic cleansing. . ."* Opponents of the McCloskey amendment, 
including the Administration, argued that it would intensify the war. lead to the withdrawal of the 
United Nations which fed two out of every three Bosnians, end international humanitarian 
assistance, terminate the peace process, undermine U.N. sanctions w orldwide. and risk 
Americanizing the war.'' Congressman Hamilton warned that if the United States began 
supplying weapons, the Serbs might retaliate by targeting UT^TROFOR, in which case: 

American forces will be called upon to rescue them. If our allies pull out troops, the 
fighting int-nsifies. and we will be called to help. We will be called upon to send 
weapons in, and we will be called upon for U.S. troops to help keep the delivery routes 
open. But in a larger sense, we become responsible for Bosnia's fate. Bosnia becomes a 
client. Our prestige and our power will have to be used to assure a Bosnian victory. We 
cannot go at it halfway.'** 

In a replay of the May debate, the Senate took up the arms embargo as part of its 

' Cong Rec. H4241 (daily ed. June 9, 1994) (statement of Rep. Hyde). 
' Cong Rec. H4234 (daily ed. June 9, 1994) (statement of Rep. Hamilton). 



consideration of the Defense authorizaiion bill. On July I . the Senate adopted by a vote of 52 to 
48. a Nunn-Wamer amendment endorsing the elTons of the contact group and expressing the 
Sense of Congress that if the Bosnian Serbs do not respond constructively to the peace 
negotiations, the President shall propose or support a U.N. Security Council resolution to 
terminate the arms embargo. On the same day, the Senate rejected by a vote of SO to 50 a Dole- 
Lieberman amendment mandating a unilateral lifting of the arms embargo. 

The FY 1995 Defense authorization bill became another \ehicle for debate over the 
United States policy on the ^-^» rmbargo. The Administration and a bipartisan group of 
Congressional Members wanted to make the multilateral lifting of the arms embargo a condition 
precedent to supplying the Bosnian Muslims. A bipartisan group of opponents wanted the 
United States to arm the Bosnian Muslims regardless of the views of the allies. 

Because Members on both sides of the debate wanted arms to reach the Bosnian 
Muslims, the issue of stopping arms from reaching Bosnia never arose. In effect, the September 
1992 decision by the Bush Administration to stop arms from reaching the Bosnians in order to 
demilitarize the region was ignored during the Congressional debate on the arms embargo. 

The Nunn-Mitehdl Amendment. 

In seeking to reconcile the conflicting provisions on the aims embargo, the conference 
conunittee on the Defense authorization bill adopted language providing that the United Sutes 
would seek a United Nations resolution ending the arms embargo by the end of October and 
commence supplying weapons to the Bosnian Muslims if the Serbs did not agree to the peace 
plan by October 15, 1994. If the United Nations did not terminate the embargo, no U.S. funds 



could be used to enforce the arms embargo after Nov ember 1 5 The compromise language also 
required the President to submit plans to. and consult with. Congress on lifting the arms embargo 
unilaterally and on providing training to Bosnian Government forces outside the territory of 
Bosnia. The conference report for H.R. 4301 was approved by the House on August 17, 1994, 
the Senate on September 13. and the bill was signed by the President on Of-tober 5. Thus, as 
early as August 17, approximately three and one-half months at^er the Galbraith and Redman 
meeting with President Tudjman, the House of Representatives had voted to eliminate United 
States flnancial support for enforcement of the embargo against the Bosnian Muslims and to se: 
in place a process that could culminate in the shipment of United States arms to Bosnia. 

In the meantime, the Senate adopted an amendment to the Detense appropriations bill 
(H.R. 46S0) mandating the unilateral lifting of the embargo on .\ugust 1 1 . The measure, 
sponsored by Senators Dole and Liebemian passed by a vote of 58 to 42. A Nunn-Mitchell 
amendment similar to the language adopted by the Defense authorization conference also passed 
by a vote of 56 to 44. At no time during the debate on the Defense authorization bill or the 
Defense appropriations bill did any Member seek to impose or even discuss a mechanism to 
limit the flow of arms to Bosnia. Nor did the debate on the Nunn-Mitchell language ever address 
the issue of Iranian or other sources of weapons flowing to Bosnia. The language of the Nunn- 
Mitchell amendment prohibits the use of Defense Department funds for enforcing the arms 
embargo against Bosnia — regardless of whether those weapons come from Iran or any other 
country. The complete and total abseiKe of any mention of an Iranian role in arms shipments 
should not suggest that Congress was either unconcerned or unaware of the Iranian role. Rather, 
the debate demonstrates that the priority of the Congress, like that of the Clinton Administration. 



was to get arms to Bosnia. 

Both the Nunn-Mitchell and the Dole-Liebemian provisions were dropped in conference • 
- in part because the Nunn-Mitchell language was already included in the Defense authorization 
bill that was on its way to becoming law. Assistant Secretar>- of State Richard Holbrooke 
commented that the Nunn-Mitchell amendment "actually required the Administration to act in a 
way that ... is completely consistent with the Galbraith-Tudjman conversation. That is. under 
Nunn-Mitchell, no funds, personnel, or United States activities of any son could be used to 
enforce the arms embargo."" He continued: "I would say that basically what Galbraith di was 
consistent with the law as it was about to be passed.*'" 

A Continuing Push to Lift the Embargo -1995 

In 1995, the debate over unilateral lift continued. In January, Senators Dole and 
Lieberman introduced a bill to lift the arms embargo against Bosnia.'' .An identical version of 
the bill was introduced in the House by Representative Chris Smith in March." In June, the 
House approved an amendment to H.R. 1561 containing provisions similar to those in the Dole 
Lieberman bill. Th^ Senate approved S. 21 on July 26 by a vote of 69 to 29. Oh August 1. the 
House approved S. 21 by a vote of 298 to 128. President Clinton vetoed S. 21 on August 1 1, 

" Hearing on U.S. Actions Regarding Iranian Arms Shipments into Bosnia before the 
Senate Select Comminee on Intelligence, IWih Cong. 30 (1996) (sutement of Assistant 
Secretary Richard Holbrooke). 

'= S. 21. I04th Cong. (1996). 

" H.R. 1 172, 104lh Cong. (1996). 



arguing that the bill would undermine chances for peace, lead to a wider w ar. and likely result in 
the rapid withdrawal of L'NPROFOR from Bosnia, with U.S. military suppon." Momentum 
toward a settlement increased by the end of the summer, .\fter N.ATO launched its air strike 
operation against Bosnian Serb military targets in late August 1495. Senator Dole postponed 
Senate action on overriding the President's \ eto. 

'* Julie Kim, Bosnia: Legislatioo-on LiftiiigJhej\nns-Embargo.i04th CongressUst 
Session. CRS Report 96-347 F. Apr. 17, 1996. at 1-2. 



Chapter One 
Section Four 

Public Statements by the Administration. 

From 1993 through 1995, members of the Administration were asked whether the United 
States abided by the U.N. Security Council Resolutions. As discussed elsewhere in the Minority 
Views," the United States had a legal obligation to refrain from providing any weapons and 
military equipment to the cc- tries of the FRY." The United States had no intemationa' ' ^-1 
obligation to enforce the embargo against third countries, however.' In practice, the 
Administration carefully walked the line bet\veen that which it was prohibited from doing and 
that which it was simply called upon to do. 

As the Administration was not required to enforce the embargo against third countries, it 
chose not to do so. However, the Administration did not wish to aimounce or confirm the policy 
of not objecting to aims shipped to Bosnia by third countries. To do so risked exposing the 
Bosnian Muslims to even more slaughter. Consequently, the Administration sought to walk the 
fine line of not sending United States aims, but not objecting to arms sent by third countries. 

" Stt Minority Repoit. for a discussion of United States Obligations Under International 
Law, at Section 1, Chapter S. 

" United Nations Security Council Resolution 713. 1991. 

'" U.N. Security Council Resolutions 740, 787 (1991); seejdsQ Minority Repoit 
discussion of United Sutes Obligations Under International Law, at Section 1, Chapter 5. Some 
Members of Congress also argued that under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, the 
Bosnian Government had the inherent right to self-defense and that the arms embargo therefore 
did not apply. 



The Majority Report identifies several instances when the Administration did not walk 
the fine line perfectly.'" Most, if not all of the examples, occur in 1995 following enactment of 
the Nunn-Mitchell amendment which, in essence, prohibited the United States Government from 
enforcing the arms embargo with respect to Bosnia. Thus, any references made by 
Administration spokespersons about abiding by the U.N. Security Resolutions applied only to 
U.N. Security Council Resolution 713. 

However, the United States also had international political reasons for avoiding a 
confirmation of U.S. nonenfi- -cement of third country compliance with the embargo (at least in 
the six months before enactment of the Nunn-Mitchell amendment). To have confirmed publicly 
U.S. policy with respect to nonenforcement would have led to a confrontation with the allies. 
Therefore, the Administration elected to ignore aims shipments to the Bosnian Muslims, but to 
refrain from making this decision public. 

The United States did not. how ever, approve, permit or support arms shipments from 
Iran or any other country to Bosnia. The position followed by the Administration was very 
carefully and narrowly circumscribed: starting in 1993, the United States neither approved of nor 
opposed arms transshipments through Croatia to Bosiua from any source, including bar.. By 
hewing to this policy line, the United States neither violated the U.N. Security Council 
Resolution nor triggered a confrontation with the allies. 

As the Majority Report points ouc in the months prior to enactment of the Nunn-Mitchell 
amendment, two Administration ofHcials made sutements that the United States was enforcing 

'* Majority Report at 33. 



the embargo. The other incidents referred to in the Majority Report involve news accounts 
quoting unnamed Administration ofTicials. and three sets of Administration press guidance that 
may never have been used. The Majority concludes, based upon these examples, that the United 
States falsely and consistently denied any U.S. role in the Iranian arms pipeline. The fact is that 
the United States hcd no role in the Iranian arms pipeline. Therefore any and all such denials of 
such a role would be accurate. The Minority would agree that the two statements made by the 
State Department that the U.S. expected the arms embargo to be respected by third countries 
were not accurate reflections of United States policy, but the Minority does not think that two ' 
offhand statements by State Department oflicials amount to pattern or practice of misleading 

Moreover, the Minority categorically rejects a number of the characterizations of 
Administration comments made by the Majority. Administration officials did say that the United 
States was not covertly supplying arms or supporting the supply of arms to the Bosnian 
government." National Security Council press guidance did state that the U.S. did not cooperate, 
coordinate or consult with any other government regarding the provision of arms to the 
Bosniaits.^ Both statements are true. As discussed elsewhere in the Minority Views, the "no 
instructions** response did not amount to either supplying or supporting the supply of arms, and 
certainly cannot be characterized as coq>eration, coordination or consultation with the 
Government of Croatia or any other government to provide arms to the Bosnians. 

'* Majority Report at 34. 



On April 20. 1994. President Clinton addressed the Bosnian situation at a news 
conference. The President's statement was devoted to making the case for stronger action 
against Serb aggression. He spoke of the siege on Oorazde and the shelling of Sarajevo. 

President Clinton identified the United States objective; to make the Serbs pay a higher 
price for their acts of violence in order to push them to the negotiating table. Tne President 
continued, "in pursuit of that policy, we must take further action.""' The President 
acknowledged the need to work with the United States allies, but it was clear that he expected the 
United States to be leading .iie effor: to rein in Serb aggression by word and action. ' ' 

Of course. President Clinton was not aware of the quer\ which President Tudjman would 
deliver to Ambassador Galbraith the following week. Nevertheless, the remarks made by the 
President on April 20 demonstrate a commitment by the United States to do what it could to help 
the Bosnian Muslims so long as the United Nations Security Council Resolution was not 
violated and the allies did not threaten to pull out of the peacekeeping force. 

Public information. 

Information that anris were flowing to Bosnia was readily available to Members of 
Congress and their staffs." Readers of The WashingtoiLEosl and viewers of CNN were 
informed in the spring of 1994 that Iran was one of the countries supplying weapons to the 

-' Clinton News Conference, AP Online. Apr. 20, 1994. 
"" For a list of press accounts of arms flows to Bosnia, see Appendix F. 



Bosnian Muslims."' Some news accounts noted that governments, including the United States 
Government, were turning a blind eye to the shipments/* Many of the news accounts were 
highly detailed. For example, an August 2. 1994. Washington Times piece contained a chart 
chronicling arms shipments to Serbia. Croatia, and Bosnia, from .'^pril 1992 to April 1994. 
During that period, Iran was reported to have shipped S20 million worth of arms to Bosnia and 
another S5 million worth of arms to Croatia. By contrast, the countries of the former Soviet 
Union were reported to have shipped S360 million in arms to Serbia, while Slo\ akia reportedly 
shipped SlOO million in wevans •" From August 1992 to September 1994, well over a doz;n 
articles describing leaks in the embargo appeared in major new spapers."" Many of these news 
stories ran on the front page. 

During floor debate on legislation to lift the arms embargo on June 24. 1994. Senator 
John McCain expressed concern about reports of Iranian flows and read into the Congressional 
RecQid an article from that day's Washingtoa Times chronicling Iranian arms deliveries to 

" John Pomfi^t, Iranian Ships Explosives to Bosnian MikIIitk;; Fmharg.-i-Bustlnfi Targ n 
 , The Washington Post, May 13. 1994. at Al, A43; Ralph Begleiter. We^jons 
Flowing to Bosnia in Violation of ! J K Fm hargn. CNN. June 7. 1994. 

•* Bill Geitz, Iranian Weapons Sent Via Croa tia; Aid to Mii slim<: Gets 1 i «; 'Wink', 
Washington Times. Jun. 24. 1994. at Al . 

-* Paul Beaver. Iran uses Russian Planes to Supply Bosnian Muslim, Cma ti an Troop s. 
Washington Times. Aug. 2, 1994, at A 14. 

-• See Appendix F for a selected list of major press articles regarding leaks in the United 
Nations aims embargo. 



Bosnia.'* In addition, on August 1 1 , 1994. during the debate on the Nunn-Mitchell amendment to 

the Defense Department authorization bill. Senator Dole acknowledged awareness of intelligence 

reporting on arms shipments to Bosnia when he expressed concern that Nunn-Mitchell would 

continue to permit United States intelligence personnel, other than Defense intelligence 

personnel, to collect intelligence on arms shipments'* In June 1995, Senator Dole again referred 

to the Iranian shipments, acknowledged Administration knowledge of those shipments, and even 

suggested that the Bosnians were justified in receiving those shipments: 

The fact is the arms embargo has guaranteed that Iran is a key supplier of arms to Bosnia 
and administration oflicials have actually used that fact to argue that there is no need to 
lift the arms embargo. What other choices do the Bosnians have? They are going to find 
weapons where they caii find weapons.'^ 

Those who followed Bosnia issues more closely also could find reporting on the issue in 
the European press and in the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) daily reports, an 
unclassified translation of foreign new s articles and broadcasts published by the CIA.^" Since 
1991, FBIS carried at least 35 pieces chronicling the growing economic and political ties 
between Croatia, Bosnia, and Iran. 
Intelligence information. 

Intelligence reporu made available to Congress also chronicled leaks in the arms 

'' Bill Gertz, Iranian Weapons Sent Via Cr oatia; AidJO-Muslims Gets 1 1 S * Wink', The 
Washington Times, Jun. 24. 1994, at Al . 

-* Cong. Rec. SI 1265 (daily ed. Aug. II, 1994) (statement of Sen. Dole). 

" Cong. Rec. S7880 (daily ed June 7, 1995) (statement of Sen. Dole). 

'" See Appendix F for a listing of foreign press reports. 



embargo. Products containing information on violations of the arms embargo included the 
National Intelligence Dailies ("NIDs"). the Militar>' Intelligence Dailies ("MEDs"), daily and 
weekly situation reports prepared by ih^|^/Balkan Task Force ("BTF"). and periodic special 
reports. " Deputy Secretary Talbott told a Senate Committee that "you had a lot of the same 
information available to you that we were operating on within the Executive branch. . . I am 
referring to classified information about many things, but including the flow of Iranian arms into 
Bosnia that was generally available to the Congress more or less contemporaneously to when it 
was available to us." '" C5s2 

The National Intelligence Daily is provided on a regular basis to the Members and 
appropriately cleared staffs of eight Congressional Committees. In 1994, the Committees 
included the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the 
House Intelligence Committee, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on National 
Security, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate .\rmed Services Committee, the 
Senate Intelligence Conunittee, and the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on 
Defense.*' The House and Senate leadership and their appropriately cleared staffs also had 
access to these materials. In addition to the more than 120 Members of the House leadership and 
relevant Conunittees and the nearly 60 Members of the Senate leadership and relevant 

*' See Appendix E for a list of dates of articles in the NIDS contaii\ing information on 
anas shipments to Bosnia. 

'- SSCI Hearing. Sutement of Strobe Talbott, Sept 1996, at 37 (Hereinafter "Talbott 

*' Lener from David P. Holmes. Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs, to Michelle 
Maynaid. (Oct. 8. 1996). 



committees to whom intelligence repons are made available on a daily basis, other Members of 
Congress can review the NIDs and other intelligence material upon request. In 1994, 520 House 
and Senate Committee staff members held the necvssary clearances to review the NIDs and other 
highly classified intelligence products. 

Between January 1994 and December 199S^fpimBthe VID carried reports of 
actual or arranged arms shipments to Bosnia; many of them specifically referred to Iranian 
shipments transiting Croatia en route to Bosnia, ''i 

The Bosnians were making these requests in 
the wake of the Federation Agreement. The Croatians. in turn, sought the United States view. 
The suggestions made by some that the request was initiated by United States government 
officials cannot be given any credence in light of the March and April intelligence reporting! 

Other intelligence products also carried reports of arms embargo violations. For 
example, from April 1994 through August 1995. infomiation about actual arms shipments and/or 
Iranian activities in the region appeared in^pHWof the Balkan Task Force's Daily Situation 
Reports. These reports were provided to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, to the 
Subcommittee on National Security of the House Appropriations Committee, and to the Senate 
Security office for review by Members and appropriately cleared staff of the Senate Foreign 

^ See Appendix E. 


Relations Committee and Senate leadership.| 

The intelligence reporting on arms shipments to Bosnia should not be considered in a 
vacuum. Intelligence reports also contained intbmiation about w capons transfers to Serbia from 
third countries, as well as transfers to the Bosnian Serb forces in violation of the amis embargo. 
The disparity' in arms shipments between the Serbs and Bosnian Serbs on the one hand and the 
Bosnian Muslims on the other is dramatic evidence of why providing the Bosnians with arms 
was so crucial in the spring of 1994. Absent these shipments, including the Iranian shipments, 
Bosnia might have been coT^lcteiy overrun. ^ 


Members and staff also were briefed on the situation in Bosnia on a regular basis. In 

1994, the State Department conducted a minimum of thirty- five briefmgs on Bosnia, and in 

1995, it conducted nearly 1 SO.' TheMBBalkan Task Force also conducted numerous 
briefings on all aspects of the situation in Bosnia, including the military situation, violations of 
sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, and violations of the arms embargo against all of the 
republics of die foimer Yugoslavia. According to CIA records, the issue of arms transfers was 
discussed on at least fourteen occasions beuveen February 1994 and December 199S." 

Former XiS. Senator Dennis DeConcini. Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on 

^ XiS. Department of State Bosnia Briefings Calendar. According to the State 
Department, entries between January and September 1994 may not be complete. 

" Attachment to Letter fixjm David P. Holmes, CIA, to Michelle Maynard, Oct. 8, 1996, 
at 1-2 (noting the number of briefings given by the Balkan Task Force at which the issue of arras 
flows to Bosnia was discussed). 



Intelligence in 1994 recalls being briefed as early as 1992 about clandestine arms shipments to 
Bosnia from Iran and other Islamic countries. In May 1994, Senator DcConcini and other 
Senators were briefed by Director James Woolsey of the Central Intelligence Agency about arms 
shipments to Bosnia from Iran and other Islamic countries. Senator DeConcini also remembers 
reading press reports about Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia in May and June 1994. but recalled 
specifically being briefed on the issue prior lo reading the press reports. He further recalls being 
told by a briefer from the Central Intelligence Agency in early May or late June of 1994 that 
Ambassador Galbraith had !eliverid a "no instructions" response to President Tudjman.^Ql|^ 

Congressional Delegation Trips/Staff Delegation Trips to Croatia and Bosnia. 

According to State Department records, nearly forty Congressional and suff delegations 
traveled to Croatia in 1994 and 1995. During these visits. Members and staff had the opportunity 
to discuss with Embassy officials a wide range of issues related to the Balkan conflict. Most 
received a country briefmg from Ambassador Galbraith. The .\mbassador testified that he 
discussed the general issue of the arms flows to Bosnia with Congressional Members and staff 
who visited Zagreb iii the summer and £all of 1994." Galbraith discussed with members of 
delegations "the fact that arms were flowing to the Bosnians, that Iran was one country that was 

** Select Subcomminee Interview of the Honorable Dennis DeConcini, Oct 7, 1996, at 1 
(hereinafter "Select Subconuninee Int of Hon. DeConcini*^. 

" Select Subcommittee Deposition of Peter Galbraith. .Aug. 19, 1996, at 91 (hereinafter 
"Galbraith Subcommittee Dcp."). In particular, the ambassador discussed the issue with a 
Senator as well as a foreign policy advisor to another Senator, both of whom visited Zagreb in 
June 1 994. Ambassador Galbraith also testified that it is conceivable that he discussed the issue 
of arms flows with a second Senator during that time. 



supplying them, and that we were not objecting."*" He did not. however, inform anyone of the 
specific exchange with President Tudjman. 

Ambassador Galbraith had discussions with Senators in the context of the Congressional 
debate over the unilateral lifting of the anms embargo. Ambassador Galbraith made the point that 
there were many negative consequences to unilateral lift, and that, "in any event, arms were 
reaching the Bosnian Muslims.**" Galbraith testified that while he cannot recall whether he 
mentioned that Iran was one of the suppliers, he would not, in theory, have been reluctant to 
mention such a fact'- During a June 1994 trip to Zagreb, congressional staff asked Amba^s-'c' t 
Galbraith about intelligence reports recounting weapons shipments into Bosnia from Iran and 
possibly elsewhere. Ambassador Galbraith confirmed the accuracy of those reports, and that the 
United States was not objecting to those shipments.*' Ambassador Galbraith also testified that in 
a phone conversation with a senator on the issue of the arms embargo, he pointed to the fact that 
arms were getting through to the Bosnians as a reason that a unilateral lifting of the arms 
embargo was not necessary.** 

The Administration made no attempt to restrict Congressional knowledge about the flow 
of arms to Bosnia. As Deputy Secretary Talbott testified, "... the Congress was, broadly 
speaking, aware, as we were, of the Iranian connection in Bosnia because it was reported on a 


'^ Id. at 138-139. 
*• Id. at 93. 



reg^ular basis in intelligence channels and appropriate staiT." '* 

Despite the published reports, intelligence reporting, briefings, codels and stafifdels. no 
Member of Congress and no staff person ever requested the .Administration to take action to stop 
the weapons transfers. Under secretary of State Tamoff, who was "fairly systematically involved 
in briefing Congress" on Bosnia issues, recalls no questions being posed about what the United 
States should do, if anything, to prevent Iranian arms fix>m reaching Bosnia. ** 

Some Members of Congress have asked rhetorically whether the Congress should be 
getting its information froii. press accounts. The rhetorical question is disingenuous. ' * 

Intelligence materials are made available precisely so that Members do not have to rely on press 
accounts. Members who choose not to review or be briefed on the intelligence reporting are, in 
effect, choosing to rely upon press reports. 

Congressional Knowledge of the Diplomatic Exchange. 

While there is ample evidence that Members of Congress and their staf!s were aware that 
arms were flowing to Bosnia with the full knowledge of the U.S. Administration and the allies, 
the Administration did not seek to disclose the particular diplomatic exchange between 
Ambassadors Calbraith and Redman and President Tudjman on the issue to any Member of 

** Select Subcommittee Deposition of Strobe Talbott, Sept S. 1996, at SO (hereinafter 
"Talbott Subcommittee Dep."). 

*• Select Subcomminee Deposition of Peter Tamoff, Sept 13, 1996. at 37 (hereinafter 
Tamoff Subcomminee Dep."). 



Congress or iheir staff/ The failure of the Administration to inform the Congress about a 

diplomatic exchange between a United States Ambassador and a foreign head of state is not a 

violation of law. Nevertheless, the timing of and circumstances surrounding the meeting were 

unique, and the Administration should have considered informing a select group of Members 

about the Croatian inquiry and the United States response. 

The consensus testimony of United Slates foreign policy and military officials to the 

Select Subcommittee confirms that directing .Ambassador Galbraith to tell Tudjman he had "no 

instructions" was the right c\v :ce Policy makers also had confidence that that the "no 

instructions" re^wnse was consistent with the sentiment in the Congress given the overwhelming 

Congressional votes favoring assistance to the Bosnian Muslims that had occurred in the 

preceding months. 

I think the w^y we approached the issue is to say that we believed it was consistent with 
strong sentiment in Congress which we shared; namely, that the arms embargo was 
un&ir. disadvantageous to the Bosnian Government, and therefore, what we decided with 
reelect to the specific issue that was put to us in late April of 1994 was not inconsistent 
widi the view in the Congress and the country . which the administration shared, and that 
was that there was unfairness about the arms embargo and it was advantageous to the 
Muslim adc" 

The AdministratioD regarded the conversation among Special Envoy Redman and 

*^ Fonner Senator DeConcini informed the Select Subcommittee that he was informed of 
the **no instructions*' response delivered by Ambassador Galbraith to President Tudjman at a 
routine intelligence bnefing. It appears that the briefer was acting iiKlependently. The CLA has 
no record that such a briefing occurred. Senior Administration policy makers were not aware of 
this particular briefing or diat information regarding the "no instructions" response had been 
shared with any Member of Congress. Select Subconunittee Int. of Hon. DeConcini at 2. 

'* TamofrSubconunittee Dep. at 18-19. 



Ambassador Galbraiih and President Tudjman as a diplomatic exchange consistent with existing 
pohcy" witli respect to which Congressional notincation under section 662 of the National 
Security Act of 1947 was not required.*" Consequently, the Administration kept the specific 
exchange between U.S. diplomats and Croatia's head of state confidential. "As for keeping the 
transaction, the exchange confidential, of course we wanted to keep it confidential. We would 
try as best we can to keep much of our diplomatic actixity confidential." " 

Deputy Secretary Talbott testified that the Administration chose to be discreet about the 
exchange due to "the delicate state of our relationship with our allies who had troops on the 
ground. There is a real chance - this is all hypothetical of course - if we had taken a course of 
action or briefed it ... to the Congress and it had leaked, there is a good chance that our 
European allies and the Canadians might have pulled out. in which case disaster would ensue."'' 

The Administration's concerns about leaks and the impact of leaks upon U.S. allies are 
legitimate. In this case, however, resolving the concerns by withholding the information from all 

" Id. at 46. 

"* For a more thorough discussion of notifications required under the National Security 
Act of 1974, see Chapter One. Section Five, which d is c u sses the history and application of 
Covert Action requirements. 


*' Hearing on U.S. Actions Regarding Iranian Anns Shipments into Bosnia before i 
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 104th Cong. 26, (1996) (suiement of Strobe Talbon). 
This decision was not unanimous, however. At least one senior Administration official, Richard 
Holbrooke, suggested that a select group of leadership of both parties be informed about the 
diplomatic exchange with President Tudjman. However, that recommendation was rejected. 
See: Select Subcomminee Deposition of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Sept 27, 1996, at 10- 
1 1 (hereinafter "Holbrooke Subconunittee Dep."). 

" Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 47. 



Members of the Congress may have been extreme." The delivery of the "no instructions" 
response was clearly relevant to the Congressional debate about the arms embargo. The central 
figures in the debate such as the Majority and Minority leaders, the Chairman and Ranking 
Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the House Foreign Affairs and 
Senate Foreign Relations Committees and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are 
accustomed to managing highly confidential information in a discrete way. The failure to 
provide the information to any mejnber can lead to distrust and suspicion when, as is almost 
always the case, the information is finally revealed. The fact that the Congress was moving 
toward a position equivalent to the "no instructions" response suggests that selected Members of 
Congress could have been informed. 

However, while the failure to inform any Members cf Congress was a mistake, the cure is 
not to enact a statute that requires Congressional consultation in the case of a diplomatic 
exchange. The Administration should maintain the discretion to decide when and how to inform 
Congress of a diplomatic exchange. In this case, the discretion may not have been exercised as it 
should have been. A response to a head of state or. an issue of enormous international 
significance that occurs at the same time that Congress is debating the very same issue justifies 
limited disclosure to selected Members of Congress. Had Members been informed in this case, 
many of the questions that the Select Subcommittee considered might never have been asked. 

" See Chapter One, Section Five for a legal discussion of the Intelligence Authori2ation 
Act of 1991 and the rationale behind the omission of diplomatic exchanges as a matter that 
would require Congressional notification. 



Chapter One 
Section Five 


The most serious of the issues reviewed by the Select Subcommittee is whether any official 
of the United States Government violated the law . The success of a policy does not. in any 
circumstances, justify illegal conduct. The Minority considered these allegations with the utmost 
seriousness. Attorneys with the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council and the 
. Department of State were consulted. The conclusions are clear. No violations of law occurred, and 
no conduct that even approaches a violation of law took place. 

The Executive Branch Did Sot I'iolate the Law. 

The U.S. Govenunent activities investigated by the Select Subcommittee implicate legal 
requirements of three sorts: the regulation of coven actions, the reporting requirements relating 
to intelligence activities, and U.S. obligations under international law . There can be little doubt 
that Executive Branch actions were consistent with all of these legal requirements. But while the 
failitre of Executive Branch oHicials to inform Congress of the **no instructions" response was 
not a violation of law, it may have been an error of judgment. 

History of Covert Action Requirements. 

The history of the restrictions on coven action, which demonstrates the care and precision 
that have gone into formulation of the statutory defmitiotu has been set out in prior congressional 



commiuee repons ' The first congressional attempt to regulate the conduct of covert actions, 
which was prompted by reports of U.S. involvement of the ouster of the Allende government in 
Chile, occurred with the enactment of the Hughes-Ryan Amendment to the Foreign Assistance 
Act in 1974. This provision barred the CIA from conducting non-intelligence-gathering 
"operations" in foreign nations unless the President first informed Congress of the importance 
and nature of the activity. The term "operations" was not defined in the statute or discussed in its 
legislative history ." 

At the time that the H'lghcs-Ryan Amendment was passed, the CI.\ considered "covpn 
actions" to be "any clandestine operation or activity designed to influence foreign governments. 
organizations, persons or events in support of United States foreign policy."' The scope of this 
definition was illustrated in a detailed discussion of the coven operations conducted by United 
States intelligence agencies since the drafting of the National Security .\ct of 1947 conducted by 
the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence 
Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence (the "Church Committee"). The Church Committee 

' Sec H.R. Rep. No. 705, lOOth Cong., 2d Sess. 8-11 (1988). 

^ Foreign Assistance Act of 1974. Pub. L. No. 93-559. § 662 (1974). The Hughes-Ryan Amendment 
staled, in pertinent part, that '[n]o funds appropriated under the authority of this or any other Act 
may be expended by or on behalf of the Central Intelligence .Agency for operations in foreign 
countries, other than activities intended solely for obtaining necessary intelligence, unless and until 
the President finds that each such operation is important to the national security of the United States 
and reports, in a timely fashion, a description and scope of such operation to the appropriate 
committees of the Congress • • • ." 22 U.S.C. § 2422 (1994) (repealed by Pub. L. No. 102-88. tit 
VI, § 601. 105 Sut. 441 (1991). 

' See Spnatp Slflprt Cnmrn t o Smdy G overnmen tal Operations With R espect-to_Imelligeilce 
A ctivities, Fo reign and Military Intelligence, S. Rep. No. 755, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., vol. 1 at 141. 



noted that by 1953 major covert operations were under\\a\ in 4S counines. and that several 
thousand such projects had been undertaken between 1961 and 1976' In its exhaustive review of 
U.S. intelligence activities, goals, and policies, however, the Church Committee did not propose 
a more narrowly tailored definition of covert action. 

In 1980 Congress enacted the Intelligence Oversight Act. which modified the Hughes- 
Ryan Amendment and added a new Title V to the National Security .\ct. The 1980 statute dealt 
with intelligence oversight in general and covert actions in particular. The .Act provided that 
covert actions and other "intelligence activities" were within the scope of the CI.\ "operations ' 
that required Presidential findings and reports to Congress." In addition, the 1980 legislation 
specifically required all executive branch entities involved in intelligence matters to keep the 
congressional intelligence committees "fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities, 
including any significant anticipated intelligence activity." 

The phrase "significant anticipated intelligence activity" vvas explained in general terms 
as covering "covert operations" and "certain other intelligence activities specified in consultation 
with the executive branch."* The term was intended to encompass "the f j11 range of intelligence 
and intelligence-related activities within the jurisdiction of the two select commitiees." The 
Senate Report makes clear that the phrase "significant" was meant broadly: 

* Id. at 153. 

' See Pub. L. No. 96-450. § 501(a). 

• H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 1350. 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 16. teprinlcdin 1980 U.S.C.C.A.N. 4192, 4212. 



An anticipated activity should be considered significant if it has policy imphcations. This 
would include, for example. ac5i\iiies which are particularly costly financially, as well as 
those which are not necessarily costly, but which have * • • [significant] potential for 
affecting this country's diplomatic, political, or militar>' relations with other countries or 
groups. * • • it excludes day-to-day implementation of previously adopted policies or 

On the other hand. Congress made no attempt to define the terms "covert action" or "intelligence 

activity." Instead, the committee reports indicated, rather unhelpfully, that the Executive Branch 

and the congressional intelligence committees expected to work together "to delineate the 

matters covered by this provision.""* 

The Executive Branch, meanwhile, took it upon itself to fill in some of the definition gaps 
in the statutes. Executive orders issued by President Carter in 1978 and President Reagan in 
1981 explicitly recognized that "diplomatic activities or the collection and production of 
intelligence or related support functions" are not w iihin the definition of "special activities" (a 
euphemism for coven actions).'' 

The concepts in the executive orders and the understandings that had evolved bet>^een 
Congress and the intelligence agencies were incorporated in the current statutory definition of 

• S. Rep. No. 730, 96th Cong.. 2d Sess. 8, reprinted Jn 1980 U.S.C.C.A.N. 4192. 4198 (quoting 
Report of the Conuninee on Government Operations, U.S. Senate, to Accompany S. Res. 400, 1976, 
at 26-27). 


" Executive Order No. 12.036. § 4-212. 3 C.F.R. 112. 134 (1979); Executive Order No. 12.333, 
§3.4(h), 3 C.F.R. 200. 215 (1981); see also Executive Order No. 11.905. § 2(c), 3 C.F.R. 90. 91 
(1977) (excluding the "collection and production of intelligence and related support functions"). 



"covert action." vvhich was enacted in \'M\ The dL'Tiniiion pro\ idcs 

As used in this subchapter, tlie tcnn 'coven action' means an acti\ it> or acliv mes ofllie 
L'niied Slates Government to inlluence polmcal. economic, vr n\ihtar> conditions abroad. 
where it is intended that the role olthe L niied States Cjovemnient w ill not be apparent or 
acknowledged publicly, but does not include ( 1 1 acti\ ities the primary purpose of which 
is to acquire intelliijence. traditional countcr-inielliyence activities, traditional activities to 
improve or maintain the operational securitv ofLnited States Government programs, or 
administrative activities; (2) traditional diplomatic or military' activities «r routine support 
to such activities; (3) traditional law enforcement activ ities conducted by United States 
Gov emment law enforcement agencies or routine suppon to such activ ities; or (4) 
activities to provide routine support to the overt activities (other than activities descnbed 
in paragraph ( 1 ). (2). or (?)) of other Lnited States Government agencies abroad. ' 

Congress intended that the del'inition would not "exclude aiu activ nv which heretofore ha[<») 

been understood to be a coven action, nor to include anv activ it\ not heretofore understood to be 

a coven action."'' 

The .\o Instructions Response did not Constitute Covert Action 

Viewed against the controlling definition, the no-instructions policy and the actions taken 
by L'.S. officials to implement it cannot be viewed as coven action.' There is no suggestion in 
the language of the coven action dermition. or ir the statutorv' formulations that preceded the 
cun-ent definition, thai a U.S. request to a third coui.iry -- much less a refusal by the U.iited 

■^' Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991. Pub. L. No. 102-SS. ^ 503(e). 105 Stat. 429 (codified at 
50U.S.C. §413b(e)(1994)). 

*' H R. Conf Rep. No. 166. l02dCong.. 1st Sess 28.repnnied in 1991 U.SC.C.A.N. 193.25l;see 
also S. Rep. No. 85. 102d Cong.. 1st Sess. 42. repnnted m 1991 U.SC.C.A.N. 193. 235 (the 
definition is intended to "reflect current practice as it ha[d] developed under the Hughes-Rvan 
.Amendment and the Executive Order defnition of special activ ities'"). 

*" See Chapter Two. Section One for a discussion of the need for and fotinulation of the "no 
mstrvictions" response. 



Slates to respond to an inquirx' ffoiri a third countn. -- constitutes coven action on the part of the 
United States. To the contrar>-, the covert action definition specifically excludes "traditional 
diplomatic * • * activities." This exclusion reaches the "use of diplomatic channels or personnel 
to pass messages and conduct negotiations between the United States and other governments or 
foreign entities. Traditional diplomatic activities, in this context, include activities long 
understood and accepted to be diplomatic in nature, including the use of private citizens as 
intermediaries."''' The exchange between Ambassador Galbraith and President Tudjman falls 
well w ithin this traditional ^if lonatic category-. 

This conclusion is confirmed both by longstanding practice and by clear legislative 
history. The CIA legal staff indicates that the Agency never has regarded U.S. requests to third 
parties as constituting covert action on the part of the United States, an understanding that 
predated the 1991 legislation. That background is of special significance because the 1991 
definition was intended to "reflect the [pre-1991] practice."" 

Indeed, Congress made a conscious -- albeit controversial -- decision to exclude requests 
to third countries from the definition of covert action enacted in 1991. As originally passed by 
both Houses and presented to the President, the statutory definition expressly provided mat "[a] 
request by any department, agency, or entity of the United States to a foreign government or a 
private citizen to conduct a covert action on behalf of the United States shall be deemed to be a 

' S. Rep. No. 85. supra, at 45. 
' S. Rep. No. 85. supra, at 42. 



coven action. Recognizing that the Bush administration objected to this language, the 

Chairmen of the House and Senate intelhgence committees wrote to the President, staling that 

Congress did not intend the provision to foreclose or inhibit certain contacts with third parties: 

[This provision is not intended) to preclude the informal contacts and consultations which 
would be required prior to the United States officially requesting a third country or 
private citizen to undertake [covert action] on its behalf Only once it had been deter- 
mined that such assistance was feasible and is made the subj:ct ofan official request by 
the United States Government would the requirement for a finding and reporting to the 
intelligence committees come into play. That is, indeed, consistent with the understand- 
ings that have long existed between the Administration and the two committees.' 

President Bush nevertheless pocket vetoed ihe bill, pointing to the third-party language. 

among other things. The President was concerned that this provision: 

could have a chilling effect on the ability of our diplomats to conduct highly sensitive 
discussions concerning projects that are vital to our national secunty. Furthermore, the 
mere existence of this provision could deter foreign governments from discussing certain 
topics with the United States at all. Such a provision could result in frequent and divisive 
disputes on whether an activity is covered by the definition and whether individuals in the 
executive branch have complied with a statutorv- requirement." 

The Senate responded to the pocket veto by attempting to accommodate the President 

while retaining specified third-party activities within its definition of covert action. Although 

eliminating the language targeted by President Bush, the Senate would have provided that 'covert 

action* means an activity or activities conducted by, or on behalf and under the control of, an 

'* S. 2834. 101st Cong.. 2d Sess. (1991). 

" H.R. Rep. No. 37, 102dCong., 1st Sess. 3 (1991). 

" Sec Memorandum of Disapproval for the Intelligence Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991, Plb. 
Papers 1729-30(1990). 



clement of the United States Government * * *."" The Chaimian of the Senate Select 

Committee on hitelligcnce explained that he and the Administration had been unable to asircc on 

the precise degree of U.S. control necessarv' to satisfy this definition: 

[\V]e have agreed to drop the word "requests." which was at the heart of the President's 
concern, but to amend the definition of co\ en action to clarify that any covert action 
which is undertaken "on behalf of the United States and under" its control will require a 
finding and notice to the Congress, In [Senate] repon language on this provision, we go 
on to stale that we regard any situation where the United States is providing funding or 
other forms of significant assistance to a third party, or U.S. personnel are involved in 
providing direction and assistance to a third party to undertake a coven action on behalf 
of the United States, we consider these situations to require pnor Presidential approval . 
and reponing to the L ongress. 

The administration agrees with this approach. What we were unable to agree on is 
whether the circumstances cited in the repon language were the only circumstances 
where U.S. control of a third party [sic] might constitute a coven action. The 
administration would, indeed, have preferred descnbing these circumstances as the only 
ones where U.S. involvement might constitute control for purposes of the definition. My 
personal view is that there could be circumstances other than those cited specifically in 
the repon language where U.S. involvement might constitute control. The repon 
language is silent on this point, however, setting fonh only the circumstances where 
agreement was possible."'^ 

The House took a different tack. As the Chairman of the House Permanent Select 
Committee on Intelligence explained, "[w]e proposed a compromise designed to make certain 
that the same approval and congressional notification standards apply to coven actions 
undertaken for the United States as apply to those undertaken by the United States. That 
compromise, which would have made clear that covert actions directed, controlled, or induced by 

"S. 1325, § 503(e) 102d Cong., 1st Sess. (1991). 

-" 137CONG. Rec. S9211 (daily ed. June 28, 1991 ) (statement of Sen. Boren). 



the United Stales had to be reported to Congress, was rejected."' The House bill therefore 

omitted all mention ol" requests to third countnes." 

The Conference Committee ultimately adopted the House position. .As Representative 

Shuster explained: 

The "third party request" provision was of great concern to the President because it was 
capable of such a potentially broad interpretation that it could have seriously interfered 
with the conduct of sensitive foreign relations. Detailed and lengthy efforts were made to 
appropriately focus the original language, but the problem of defining the outer limits of 
the provision without disrupting legitimate diplomatic relations ultimately proved too 
complex. In view of this seemingly intractable problem and the significant progress 
made on the other issues, the conferees decided to drop the "third pany request" 

President Bush signed the legislation, declaring himself "pleased that the Act. as revised, omits 
any suggestion that a request' by the United States Government to third parties may constitute 
'covert action" as defined by the Act."'' 

This history clearly establishes that U.S. requests to third countries do not constitute 
covert action on the pan of the United States. President Bush specifically objected to the third- 
party language in the initial version of the covert action definition; as enacted, the statute omitted 
both that language and the weaker third-paity provision in the proposed Senate replacement. 
This is persuasive evidence that a request to a third party is not coven action. As a consequence. 

=' 13? Cong. Rec. H2621 (daily ed. May 1, 1991) (statement of Rep. McCurdy). 


-■' 137 Cong. Rec. H6161 (daily ed. July 31. 1991) (statement of Rep. Shuster). 

-* Statement by President George Bush Upon Signing H.R. 1455, 27 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 
1137 (Aug. 19, 1991). rcprinledjn 1991 U.S.C.C.A.N. 257. 



even if the no instructions response is regarded as a rcqucsi that Croatia itself engage in covert 
action, such a request should not be regarded as covert action on the pan of the United States. 

Beyond that, of course, the communication of "no instructions" was not a L' S. request for 
action; it was the absence of a veto on action proposed by Croatia. The Minonty regards this 
difference as significant. Giving covert action status to a U.S. decision not to object to a third 
party's proposed activities would have very broad implications. Variations on this situation 
undoubtedly arise with great frequency, as allies give the United States a "heads-up" about 
contemplated action. Does .uiiure by the United Slates to object to these proposals require a 
presidential finding? In this light, treating .Ajnbassador Galbrailh's exchange as covert action 
would create insuperable line-drawing problems, lead to bureaucratic paralysis, and discourage 
communications from other nations. These are precisely the consequences that President Bush 
sought to avoid with his 1990 veto. 

Indeed, Representative Shuster made just that point in explaining the considerations that 

led to elimination of the third-party provision from the 1991 legislation: 

It is not too difficult to envision this uncertainty [that would result from treating 
communications with third countries as covcrt action] at work. Consider the case of an 
animated confidential exchange between a United States and foreign official concerning a 
sensitive international threat to our two countries' mutual interests. 

Suppose the U.S. official says, "We know you have the capability to moimt a particular 
covert action, which we believe might neutralize this threat on behalf of both our vital 
interests. Why don't you undertake that specific covert action?" 

Now, is that a request which is subject to the covert action approval and reporting 
requirement, or is it merely seeking an explanation of our ally's policy? Reasonable 
minds might reach different conclusions. 

But if the poor U.S. official in a faraway foreign country, attempting to represent the 
United States in such a situation, has to constantly worry about whether such statements 



might later be determined to be an unlaw tul request for a third pany co\ en action, he 
may well feel compelled to exercise sinnjient self-censorship, not conducive to the 
effective conduct of his foreign affairs responsibility.-' 

Seither the Convoy nor ihegj^m.\fissile Incident Constituted Covert Actioi^^j^l^ 

The other incidents that have been the subject of the Subcommittee s inquiry also did not 
constitute covert action -- a conclusion shared by legal staff at the CI.\. who do not believe that 
any events related to the Subcommittee's investigation amounted to coven action. Two episodes 
warrant brief mention. 

First, efforts by U.S. ofTicials -- if they occurred -- to assist humanitarian convoys en 
route to Bosnia cannot be considered coven action for the simple reason that these were not 
actions where, in the statutory terms, it was "intended that the role of the United States 
Government [would] not be apparent or acknow ledged publicly."-" Public activity cannot fall 
within the definition, even if the action is intended to mislead a potential adversary, or if the 
specific objectives of an activity are publicly misrepresented or are concealed altogether."' That 
would be so even if the United States had reason to believe that some convoys might contain 
arms; the legislative history indicates that U.S. activities are not covert actions simply because 
the U.S. objectives are misrepresented or concealed. In any event, U.S. intervention, if it 

■' 137 Cong. Rec. H2623 (May 1, 1991) (statement of Rep. Shuster). 

See Chapter Two, Section Four for discussion of the humaniurian convoys. 
•■ Sec H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 166, supra, at 29; S. Rep. No. 85. supra, at 43. 



occurred at all. did not go beyond requesting action b> third panics, which should not be consid- 
ered covert action for the reasons explained above. 

Second, the inspection of Iranian missiles by U.S. military personnel does not constitute 
covert action."' The inspection was not "an activity •  * to influence political, economic, or 
military conditions." It was not a U.S. -initiated attempt to achieve a particular policy goal; 
instead, it was a technical support function designed to assist an ally's activities. U.S. officials 
thus did not ask. and were not told, what happened to the missiles after the inspection. 

Moreover, requinng a presidential finding for the sort of on-ihe-fly, reactive act" v 

represented by the missile inspection surely would be most impractical; even if the inspection 

were thought to fall within the literal terms of the statute, the exclusion of such fast-moving 

activities from the covert action definition finds clear support in the legislative history. 

Describing the historical treatment of coven actions, the Senate Repon indicated: 

[Certain] activities that may literally fall wkhin the definitions [of covert action] but for 
which it w ould be impractical to seek Presidential appro\ al and report to Congress on a 
case-by-case basis, have been assumed not to be covert action. To some extent. Congress 
has known of and acquiesced in this practice and has worked with the executive branch to 
develop mutually agreeable understandings of the reach of the rejjoning requirements.'' 

The exclusion of such actions from the definition therefore reflects the historical practice that 

Congress sought to codify. 

The Executive Branch H'OS not Under a Legal Duty to Report the "So Instructions" Response. 

■' See Chapter Two, Section Seven for a discussion of U.S. activities regarding inspection of Iranian 

■" S. Rep. No. 85. supra, at 42. See H.R. Rep. No. 705, 100th Cong., 2d Sess. 38 (1988), 
accompanying H.R. 3822 



The Executive Branch w as not under u legal obligation to report the 'no instructions" 
response as an intelligence activity. Since I9S0 the heads of all agencies ■■in\oKcd in 
intelligence activities" have been obligated lo "keep the intelligence committees tully and 
currently informed of all intelligence activities."' The statute includes no definition of the 
intelligence activities that are subject to this mandatory reporting requirement; liie legislative 
history indicates only that the tenn "is intended to encompass the fiill range of intelligence and 
intelligence-related activities within the jurisdiction of the two select committees."'' 

It nevertheless is p. "bly clear that, a' least in the ordinary case, diplomatic exchansrc» 
such as the "no instructions" response do not qualify as "intelligence activities" within the 
meaning of the statutory term. The covert action definition reflects the recognition that 
diplomatic and intelligence activities constitute distinct categories; there is no reason to doubt 
that the same distinction applies under Section 413a(l). Similarly, the specific intelligence 
activities discussed in connection with the 1991 legislation -- "covert paramilitary operations, 
propaganda, political action, election support." and, of course, intelligence collection and 
counterintelligence measures"' — have no similarity to diplomatic exchanges. That conclusion 
has an obvious comfnon sense basis: requiring reports on all diplomatic exchanges touching on 
intelligence matters would be inordinately burdensome and would involve diplomats in the 

"50U.S.C. §413a(l). 

" H.R. Conf Rep. No. 1350, supra, at 16 n.l. 

'- S. Rep. No. 85, supira, at 42. 



drawing of unmanageable lines. Under current practice, such exchanges are not regarded as 
subject to the mandatory reporting requirement. 

Executive Branch Officials Should Have Disclosed the "So Instructions" 
Response to Congress. 

Concluding that the E.xecutive Branch was under no legal obligation report the '.lo 
instructions" response, however, is not to say that the Galbraith-Tudjman exchange -- and the 
policy considerations that underlay the response to President Tudjman •- should have been 
w ithheld from Congress. In fact, it is the Minorit\ view that the better course may ha\ e been for 
E.xecutive Branch officials to have notified selected Members of the appropriate Congressional 
committees or, perhaps, the Congressional leadership. 

In reaching this conclusion, we do not suggest that Executive Branch officials meant to 
mislead the Congress. There is absolutely no evidence that Executive Branch officials made 
misstatements in official presentations or in answers to congressional inquiries. Moreover. 
Executive Branch officials did not regard the "no instructions" response as a change in policy. 
As discussed at length in the previous section, intelligence data noting shipments of Iranian arms 
were distributed widely in Congress. 

Having that said, the Minority does not consider the "no instructions'* respotue to be the 
kind of routine diplomatic exchange that need not be called to congressional attention. A number 
of considerations -- both singly and in combination — suggest that the better course may have 
been for the Executive Branch to inform Congress of the "no instructions" response. 



First, the "no instructions" response was -- and plainK understood by Executive Branch 
officials to be -- a matter of considerable iniponance. The policy was significani enough that, 
within the space of some seventy-two hours, it went from .\mbassador Gaibraith through sc\eral 
levels at the State Department to the Secretary of State and the National Security .Adviser and. 
ultimately, to the President himself. This close attention to the matter within the State 
Department and the National Security Council was no doubt w arranted: the answer to President 
Tudjman's question had a significant impact on the status of the Muslim-Croat Federation, the 
survival of the Bosnian government, and U.S. relations with its closest European allies. 

Second, notification would have been of particular importance because the "no 
instructions  response was clearly relevant to a contentious issue being debated in Congress at 
the time. The question whether to lift or modify the embargo on arms shipments to Bosnia w as a 
matter of intense and continuing discussion through the spring and summer of 1994. Disclosure 
of the "no instructions" response, and of the policy considerations that underlay the United States 
decisioo, would have been appropriate. At a minimum, notification likely would have led to 
more informed decision-making by Members of Congress. 

Third, and perhaps most fundamentally, although the possible adverse reaction by U.S. 
allies gave Executive Branch officials good reason to keep the Tudjman-Galbraith exchange 
closely held, the Administration could have struck a more reasonable balance between the desire 
to minimize the risk of leaks and the wisdom of informing key Members of Congress. The 
Administration would ha\ e been w ise to consider the comments made in response to the 
argument that covert actions are too sensitive to disclose to the intelligence conunittees or to the 
congressional leadership: 



In the final analysis, it's a question of balance. We must balance the harm that may result 
from the disclosure of a secret auainsi the value of consultation and independent adv ice 
for the President prior to the initiation of a coven action Have not the events of recent 
years shown us that the President needs that kind of adMce in ail circumstances? When 
covert actions are contemplated that will have profound effects on our securitv interests, 
the balance, in our democracy, must be struck in favor of pnor consultation. 
I the long ran it will serve us best." 

The issue before the Select Subcommittee does not invoU e a covert action, but the same 

need for balance applies. Indeed, had Congress been notified of the "no instmctions" response 

in a timely fashion, much of the suspicion and skepticism that prompted the current investigation 

might have been prevented. 

The "So Inslructions" Response did not Violate International Law. 

The remaining area of legal inquiry involves the United States' international obligations. 
On this score, the decision not to affirmatively enforce the embargo against third countries -- a 
decision embodied both in the no-instnictions policy and in the Nunn-Mitchell legislation -- did 
not violate international law. 

The United States' legal obligations concerning the arms embargo were set out in a series 
of United Nations resolutions. U.N. Security Council Resolution 713, which imposed the em- 
bargo, plainly was mandatory. It provided that the Security Council: 

Decides, under Chapter VTI of the Charter of the United Nations, that all states shall, for 
purposes of establishing peace and stability in Yugoslavia, immediately implement a gen- 
eral and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Yugo- 

" H.R. Rep. No. 705, supra, at 14-15, quoting Statement of Rep. Hamilton, Feb. 24, 1988. 
Subcommittee on Legislation, Permanent Select Comminee on Intelligence, pp. 5, 6, and 7. 



slavia until the Security Council decides othcroisc following consultation between the 
Secretar> -General and the Government of Nuyoslav la.  

In contrast, the other embargo-related resolutions, which addressed enforcement of the 

embargo, were quite different in form. L .N. Security Council Resolution 7S7 authorized, but did 

not require, U.N. member states to take steps to enforce the amis embargo established in earlier 

resolutions. It provided: 

The Security Council, * • * [ajcting under Chapters VIl and VIII of the Charter of the 
United Nations, calls upon States, acting nationally or through regional agencies or ar- 
rangements, to use such measures commensurate with the specific circumstances as mj'v 
be necessary under authority of the Security Council to halt all inward and ourvvard n'Ti- 
time shipping in order to inspect and verify their cargoes and destinations and to ensure 
strict implementationof the provisions of Resolutions 715 (1991) and 757 (1992). " 

Similarly, U.N. Security Council Resolution 740 "(c]alls upon all States to cooperate fully with 

the [sanctions] Committee • * *. including reporting any information brought to their attention 

concerning violations of the embargo."" 

Resolutions 787 and 740 do not have the force of international legal obligations. VNTiile 

some resolutions of the Security Council are binding on member states -- under Article 25 of the 

U.N. Charter (emphasis added), "[t]he Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry 

out the dttisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter" ~ it is quite 

" Resolution 757 is similar to Resolution 713. setting out in detail the obligations of member states 
to implement sanctions against the remaining Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. 

" See U.N. Security Council Resolution 787. 

" See U.N. Security Council Resolution 740. 



clear thai not all resolutions of the Security Council impose nundaton. obligations " Some reso- 
lutions are not "decisions." others may not be made "in accordance with the [] Charter." and 
many simply are not intended to be binding. " 

In detemiining their legal status, it is useful to contrast Resolutions 787 and 740 with 
Resolution 713. which established the embargo. The text of Resolution 713 displays everv ele- 
ment necessar>' to come within the mandatory terms of .\rticle 25: it uses the express language 
of "decision" as the operative verb; it identifies the source of the Council's power to act (Chapter 
VII. which contemplates dceisioiTs. a.s opposed to the non-binding recommendations authorizecl 
under Chapter \I); it uses language of direction ("shall"), exhibiting an intent to bind member 
states; and it is directed at "all states."'" Violations of its mandate to implement an arms embargo 
necessarily are \ iolations of a member state's treaty obligations under the Charter, and thus are 
inconsistent with international law. 

' Scholars, judges, and diplomats agree that the reach of .\rticle 25 remains unsettled, both in theory 
and in practice. See, e.g., Bruno Simma (ed.). The C haner of the L'niied Na tions: A Commentary 
409 (1994) ("the scope of art. 25 is also open, since the term decision' [] as used in thi"! provision 
cannot refer to all pronouncements of intent by the [Security Council] made under the terms of the 
formal voting procedure"); Renata Sonnenfeld, Resolutio n.s of the United Nations Security Council 
121-122 (1988) (noting "the ambiguity of the term 'decision'" and citing an official U.N. publication 
noting that the article had not been subject to much debate or clarification). 

" See. tg.. Bruno Simma (ed.). The Charter of the U'nited Naiion-s: A Commentary 409 (1994) ("the 
notion of decision' within the terminology of the CJianer is not unambiguous"); Oscar Schachter. 
United N,ationsJ.a\tinJhc Gulf Conflict. 85 Am. J. |iifl L. 452. 463 n.31 (1991) (referring to "[t]he 
important distinction between binding and nonbinding decisions"); See_alsQ Craig Scott, et_aL, A 
Memorial for Bosnia, 16 Mich. J. Int'l L. 1, 126 (1994) ("Clearly, .Article 25 does not operate so as 
to make all Security Council decisions binding"). 

" U.N. Security Council Resolution 713. 



Resolution 7S7 differs in significant ways Its operative verb ("calls upon") reflects ex- 
hortation rather than decision, and there is no language directing members to perform panicular 
acts/" The scope of the request is deliberately ambiguoiiS. referring to "such measures commen- 
surate with the specific circumstances as may be necessary " " By necessity the resolution's re- 
ques' applies not to all states, but only to those with the ability to halt shipping and to ensure 
implementation of the embargo. Resolution 787 thus cannot be understood to impose an affirma- 
tive, binding obligation. 

Resolution 740 bears -vcn lewer hallmarks of a binding "decision." It merely "calls 
upon" states to "cooperate" w ith the sanctions committee.^" The hortatory operative verbal 
phrase, as well as the discretionary element (seeking generalized "cooperation").'' emphasize that 
this resolution is of a wholly different character than Resolution 713. 

The intent of the Security Council — determined by reference to the language and effect 
of a resolution — often determines whether a resolution is binding." The language discussed 
above demonstrates that the Security Council (in Resolution 713. for example) knows how to 
make a forceful, binding decision subject to Article 25 of the Charter. The fact that the roughly 

*■ U.N. Security Council Resolution 787. 


*' U.N. Security Council Resolution 740. 


" See Simma, Charter at 413; see also LegalConsequencesJiar-Statesijfjhe-Coniinued^esencfcof 
South^AMcainJJamihia. (SQuthJ^'esLAMcaX^Qtaithstanding Security Council Resohition 226 
(Advisory Opinion), 1971 1.CJ. 16, 53 (1970) ("The language of a resolution of the Security Council 
should be carefully analyzed before a conclusion can be made as to its binding effect"). 



contemporaneous laniiuagc of Resolutions 7S7 and ~4i) differs from that of Resolution 713 in 
important \^ays demonstrates that the Security Co-jncii did not intend those resolutions to have 
the same bmding effect. 

Comparing Resolutions 787 and 740 with other recent resolutions confiiros that they 
should not be ^.onstrued as imposing international legal obligations. The closest parallel to the 
resolutions concerning the former Yugoslavia are those addressing Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, 
which provide the only other recent example of the Council's systematic use of its Chapter VII 
authority to adopt bmding decisions/' Notably, the Yugoslavia resolutions parallel the '.:. ^ 
resolutions in significant part. Resolution 661 (using the temi "Decides" and mandatorv- lan- 
guage similar to that in Resolution 713) imposed obligations on member states to effect an em- 
bargo on Iraq and occupied Kuwait.'" Resolution 665 (in which the Council used "Calls upon" 
as the operative verb and adopted language virtually identical to that used in Resolution 787) 
authorized certain states to use additional measures to enforce the embargo.' 

■" Together, these t\\ o instances represent a significant departure from the Security Council's prior 
practice, which had been largely hamstrung by superpower conflict. See Simma, Charier at 416 
(1994) ("The first case in which the [Security Council] took a whole series of binding decisions under 
Chapter VII relates to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait"); id. at 418 (noting resolutions concerning 
Yugoslavia and Somalia); see also Oscar Schachter and Christopher C. Joyner (eds.). United Nations 
1 egal Order 62 (1995) ("Because of the substantial paralysis of the Security Council throughout the 
Cold War years, that is. during most of the Council's existence, the fiill extent of the Council's powers 
has not yet been explored"). 

** U.N. Security Council Resolution 661. 

'■ Resolution 665 provides: "[t]he Security Council * * * CaIls_upQn those member states co- 
operating with the Gov emment of Kuwait which are deploying maritime forces to the area to use such 
measures commensurate to the specific circumstances as may be necessary under the authority of 
the Security Council to hah all inward and outward maritime shipping in order to inspect and verify 




The Security Council resolutions concerning the Persian Gulf crisis have been closely 
scrutinized in recent years. The authorities agree that Resolution 065 (and. by extension. Resolu- 
tion 787) was merely an authorizing resolution, not a mandator.' one. It "plainly cannot be con- 
strued as imposing any bindmg obligation on the United States."'" One scholar explained the 
point in detail: 

At first blush, this resolution [665] may appear to be a decision of the Security Council 
obliging the United States to use armed force. But close analysis reveals that it is not. 
* • • Neither this resolution nor any previous Security Council resolution requires any 
member state to deploy maritime forces to the area. * * • Even if a state becomes subject 
to the resolution by' that action, it retains full discretion to determine which mea- 
sures, if any, are "commensurate to the specific circumstances," and whether they are in 
fact "necessarv."'^ 

■* (...continued) 

their cargoes and destinations and to ensure stnct implementation of the provisions related to such 

shipping laid down in resolution 661 (1990)." 

'' Michael J. Glennon, The Constilulion and Chapter \ II of the United Nations Charier, 85 .\m. J. 
Ini'lL. 74, 82(1991). 

*' Glennon, 85 Am. J. Int'l L. at 82. See also Alyssa Pyrich, Recent Developments, T Inited Na tions: 
AuthorizatioDS_of-Use j^LEorce. 32 Har\-. Int'l L.J. 265. 267 (1991) (Resolution 665 "authorizes 
states with forces in the region" to use forcible measures); Christopher John Sabec, Nolejie 
Security-CrcuilciLCcJieSLi)f-Age: An Anal ysis of the International I cgal Respo nse to the Trag i 
Invasion^Kuwait, 21 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 63. 72 (1991) (Resolution 665 "authorized military 
action to halt maritime trade with Iraq") 

This understanding of the effect of Resolution 665 (and, by extension. Resolution 787) is 
consistent w ith the Security Council's permissive (non-binding) authority over military cfibrts. "A 
request to use military force in the absence of any special agreement [under Article 43] is not legally 
binding." Matthew D. Berger, NQte^lmplementinga-United Nations Security Council Resolution: 
Tlic_Eiesident!s_Po*er.taL'sc_£Drce Without the Authorization of Congress. 15 Hastings Int'l & 
Comp. L. Rev. 83. 93(1991). See also Schachter & Joyner, United Nations Legal Order at 281 . In 
the two instances in which the Council expressly authorized military action (Korea and Kuwait), it 
did not oblige member states to participate, but merely permitted the action. See Eugene V. Rostow, 
Until Whatl Enforcement Aclion_oiLColleclii:c_SelfJ)efensc2, 85 Am. J. Int'l L. 506, 508-509 




The clear conclusion, then, is that the resolutions calhny upon member states to aid in 
enforcing the embargo were hortaton. . As a consequence, the "no instructions" response -- in 
which the United States decided not to take affimiaiive steps to prevent a violation of the em- 
bargo — was consistent with the I'nited Stales obligations under international law. 


( 1991 ). Likewise, where the Council authorized forcible measures to enforce a sanctions regime (in 
Resolutions 665 and 7S7), it did not impose any binding obligation on states to take enforcement 
action, nor would it ha\e authority under the Giarter to purport to do so. Thus, even if the Security 
Council clearly stated its intention to act under Article 25 in a resolution such as 665 or 787, the 
obligation by its terms would not apply because the "decision" of the Council would not be "in 
accordance with the [] Charter." 



Chapter Two 
Section One 


At the hean of the Select Subcommittee investigation are the conversations among 
Ambassador Peter Galbraith, Special Envoy Charles Redman and Croatian President 
Tudjman. President Tudjman asked what the United States reaction would be to the 
transshipment of arms through Croatia to Bosnia, and the Ambassador and the Special Envoy 
replied that they had been given ".lo instructions" on how to respond. The Minority believes tnat 
the detailed account that follows is the most accurate exposition of the meeting between 
President Tudjman and these two diplomats and of the events leading up to, and following, the 
meeting. This account not only establishes the care with which the instructions were 
implemented, but also puts into perspective the minor inconsistencies that occur in any retelling 
of events by witnesses more than two years after they occurred. 

As discussed in the previous Chapter, the Clinton Administration weighed several options 
before determining that the "no instructions" response to the Croatian inquiry about arms 
shipments to Bosnia would be the most tenable. The policy makers in Washington and the 
implementors of that policy in the region carefully considered three options before agreeing on 
the United States response to Croatia. The testimony of the participants and the written record of 
events make it absolutely clear that neither the response nor the events prior or subsequent to the 
delivery of the response were a rogue operation instituted by an isolated ambassador. Although 
the time in which the decision had to be formulated and presented was short, and top policy 



makers were spread throughout the world.' a successful effort was made to coordinate the 

response within and between the necessary- agencies." 

The Administration reached its decision to proceed with this response knowing that the 

Croatians were likely to see it as a signal to reestablish a fomial arms pipeline and that the 

Iranians would be the primar , although not sole, source for the weapons. The Administration 

carefully considered the extent to which the response would allow the Iranians more access in the 

region than they possessed already. The following is a detailed description of the events 

surrounding the formulation of the "no instructions" response and its delivery to the Croatian 


Weeks Preceding President Tudjman 's Presentation 
of the Question to Ambassador Galbraith. 

Although the date when the Croatians first began giving serious thought to reestablishing 

the arms pipeline to the Bosnians cannot be fixed exactlyj 

J By February - March 1994, hostilities 

' On April 27, 1994, Secretary ofSute Christopher was traveling in the Middle East. 
President Clinton, Anthony Lake, and Strobe Talbott were traveling to California for the Nixon 

- Select Subcomminee Deposition of Strobe Talbott, Sept. 5, 1996, at 45 (hereinafter 
"Talbott Subcommittee Dcp."). 



had ceased, and the Croatian and Bosnian go\cmmenls had aurccd to a new Federation 
negotiated by the United States and adopted in March 1994 ("the Federation Agreement 'l.'^ The 
success of the Federation Agreement not only meant a cessation of the needless humanitarian 
suffering, but also represented the beginning of a new military alliance more capable of resisting 
Serb forces.' 

With the diminishing tension between the two countries, the Bosnian government 
approached the Croatians regarding the reestablishment of the formal arms pipeline. Iran, which 
already was committed to the Bosnian cause, recognized that the Federation represented an 
opportunity to enhance its status as Bosnia's most important friend within the Islamic world.''i^ 


' For an extensive discussion of the Federation agreements, see Chapter One, Section 

* In his testimony before the House Pennanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 
Ambassador Galbraith explained that during the Muslim-Croat war it was extremely difficult to 
get weapons into Bosnia. House Permanent Subcomminee on Intelligence Deposition of Peter 
W. Galbraith, May 30, 1996, at 24 (hereinafter "Galbraith HPSCI Dep."). United Slates 
diplomacy in the region was therefore aimed at ending the war and solidifying a military alliance 
that could bolster the Bosnian Muslims' resistance to the Serbs. Id. See also. Select 
Subcoimninee Deposition of Ronald Neitzke, Aug. 7, 1996, at 40 (explaining that after the battle 
in Mostar on May 7, 1993, it would have been inconceivable for any Croat national to advocate 
supplying arms from any source to the Muslims) (hereinafter "Neitzke Subcommittee Dep."). 

' Iran desired to be a key player in Bosnia since the onset of the Balkan conflict. The 
plight of the Bosnian Muslims was a popular cause in Iran and was exploited by the Iranian 
leaders internally and within the Islamic world community. The role of Iran in the region is 
discussed more fully at Chapter Three, Sections One and Two. 



The Croatians were receptive to the Iranian proposal to resume the arms pipeline to 
Bosnia well before the April 28 meeting between Tudjman and .Ambassador Galbraiih. The 
intelligence also establishes that Iran. Croatia, and Bosnia independently discussed anns 
transshipments well before Croatian officials approached United States officials and the question 
w as posed formally to Ambassador Galbraith. 

The Question Is Posed to Embassy Zagreb Personnel 

In fact, the first inquiries from Croatian officials about the United States position on such 

According to cables fix>m Embassy Zagreb, on April 18. 1994, Charles Redman, the 
United States Special Envoy on former Yugoslavia, met with Croatian Foreign .Minister .Mate 



Apparently. Foreign Minister Granic was too subtle in his nresentation of the issue to 

Special Envoy Redman 

_ J Apr. 20, 1994. Although theJgMBBBjWpand the Deputy 

Chief of Mission ("DCM") both'feported this meeting through their channels, "Special Envoy 
Redman was unable to recall this meeting specifically. See Select Subcomminee Deposition of 
Charles Redman. .Aug.. 27, 1996. at 30. 3l("I returned to Washington on the 19th . . .1 just dpn't 
know if I saw [Granic] on the way out.")(hereinafter "Redman Subcommittee Dep."). 

'* Galbraith Subconuniltee Dep. at 20. Despite the fact that he had drafted both reporting 
cables, the DCM does not recall having known of this meeting in April 1994. Neitzke 
Subcommittee Dep. at 152-53. According to him, his first awareness that the Croatians were 
seeking a United States policy statement was in a meeting with Foreign Minister Granic on April 
27. 1994. Id. at 153. 




^^hat the Foreign Minister was expected to. but did not. ask Special 
Envoy Redman whether the "United States is prepared to pressure Bosnia Herzegovina to stop 
asking Croatia to transship [weapons]."" Granic therefore tailed to ehcit a tomial reply from the 
United States or indicate in any way that the Croatians were seeking an explicit response 
concerning the United States position on the resumption of the arms pipeiin^^^^/^ 

This seemingly inconsistent position reflects the division within the Croatian government 
the of the arms pipeline pBi^BBHH^HHBilHiil^^HIHB^^^^H 

ijjihere were some w ithin the 
government. Mate Granic and Vliro Tudjman among them, who disagreed w ith this policy. 
However, even among the dissenters, the objections to the transshipments varied. For example. 
Foreign Minister Granic was concerned about the pipeline's effect on the peace process," 
whereas Miro Tudjman wanted to minimize Iranian involvement."' Miro Tudjman attempted to 

" Department of State Cable. Zagreb 1567. Apr. 19. 1994. 
r Subcommittee Pep, at 11-12. 



ad\ance this position when he exploited his. 

The reality of the situation was, however, that President Franjo Tudjman retained 
ultimate authority over the decision, and he apparently had agreed to the transfer of arms via 
Croatian territory."' The only remaining issue for the Croatians was what effect, if any, this 
decision would have on relations with the United Stales: that was the real reason for posing the 
question to United States officials." 

The Deputy Chief of Mission ("DCM") reported both the meeting be^veen the foreign 

I — 
minister and the Special Envoy and theHIB^^Bm^HB||HBHH^|^^^HH 

■■■■■^■■^■■■■feiijand explained that the question of arms to the Bosnians was in 

•department of State Cab le, Zagreb 1597. Apr. 21, 1994, at 1 (hereinatier "Zagreb 
lS97")-J0BHBBPBH|^Apr. 21, 1994. fiiB2ubcommittee Dep. at 21-22!^ 

>ubcommittee Dep. at 136. Th^m^m^Blexplained that Tudjman was a 
very strong leader who woul d njake the decision regarding the resumption of the formal arms 
pipeline on his own. Id. ^_55^^_ 

"' See Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 6-8 (commenting on what tvpe of response the 
Croatians were seeking from the United States). 

'* The first of these cables was dated April 19, 1994, and the second April 21, 1994. 
Although both these cables report on the meeting Special Envoy Redman had with Foreign 
Minister Granic, DCM Neitzke noted in the cable that Special Envoy Redman had not reviewed 



the fore. On April 21. 1994. the DCM reported that the Croaiuns would certainly be lookiny for 
an official response from the United States and would cooperate pro\iding it was in Croatia's 
interest to do so.' The DCM requested guidance from the Dcpanmeni on this matter." These 
cables circulated throughout the Department of State but in the absence of a formal request by 
the Croatians, the formulation of a response was not initiated." There were, however, informal 
discussions about the Croatian inquiries in Zagreb,"' and the Department had been placed on 
notice that the question could arise again. ^^^^"^^ 

^v as concemed 
appropriately about the Croatian intentions, the reporting is incomplete and misleading. 

' The failure to talk to the Special Envoy is significant in this case 
since the Special Envoy does not remember the meeting."^ 


"Zagreb 1567 at 1. 

-* Department of Sute Cable Zagreb 1597, Apr. 21, 1994, at 1. 

'' The cable circulated >^ithin the Department of State on April 22, 1994. An electronic 
mail message conveys that the Department did not respond to the Croatian attempt to obtain a 
United States position on the matter because the request was informal. Department of State E- 
Mail. Apr. 22. 1994, at 1. The e-mail's author recognized the question's potential importance, 
however, and noted that it should not be dismissed out of hand. Just ubled until more formally 
presented. Id. In his conversations with Department of State officials during the week of April 
27, 1994, Ambassador Galbraith reminded them that the Department had known about this issue 
for several days. Galbraith Subcommittee. Dep. at 20. 

■* Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 1 1 1. 

^ Redman Subcomminee Dep. at 30. 



Second, in his cable. the/IHP^^BA/rclaycd a preMousl> un-mcmbriulizcd 
conversation from early-March 1994 in which Ambassador Galbraiih discussed with ihejt 

/a possible covert action to arm the Bosnian Muslims The assistance likely would be 
from Islamic countries such as Iran or Turkey, not the United States, and would traverse Croatia 
(the only land route to the Bosnians) without objection by the United States'* 

Thel^^HmB|^reponed that he told the Ambassador during the March conversation 
that he was not in the position to make policy and referred the .Ambassador lo policv makers at 
the National Security Council oi ihe Department of State to address the requisite finding ana 
legal issues. Th£M|m||mi|^Blso reported that he opined to the .Ambassador that such an 
action would be a mistake, and the Ambassador remarked that he would bring the idea to 
National Security Advisor Anthony Lake.' Th^gMB^JB^did not memorialize this 
conversation at the time (in March) because he did not think it was an issue worth reponing. The 
Alil^B BBBJ^testified to the Select Subcommittee that he orally informed the Central 

I Apr. 20, 1994. In this cable, thejIlHB^HIBvrecounts 
that the Ambassador suggested tflafTurkey serv e as the cutout point for possible arm« shipments 
to the Bosnian Muslims irom Iran. The Majority concludes that this statement is indicative of 
the fact that Ambassador Galbraith actually orchestrated the Croatian inquiiy regarding the 
resumption of the arms pipeline. This line of argument is not credible. It was well known 
within the foreign policy and intelligence communities that the Islamic countries, particularly 
Turkey and Iran, were interested in helping the Bosnians. Throughout 1993. the President of 
Turkey made repeated contact with United States and United Nations officials to encourage 
either the lifting of the arms embargo against Bosnia altogether, or supplying arms to the 
Bosnians directly despite the embargo. See, e.g.. Department of Sute Cable, Nov. 8, 1993. The 
fac tjhat Ambassad ty Galbraith incorporated this well known knowledge into a discussion with 
theg|P^^BH|^- who also should have been aw are of Turkey's interest in aiding the 
Bosnia ns -.isjt p way indicative of his having orchestrated this deal among Iran, Croatia, and 




European desk officer of the conversation: but the desk officer docs not remember the 
conversation and did not report the con\ ersation to anyone wiihin the European branch.^ 

In his Apni 20 cable. theJ^pHBHlMtied the March idea raised by the Ambassador 
to the comments made by Foreign Minister Granic and requested guidance homM/^J 
headquarters. TheN^|BHHWBssumed that Granic's conversa'ion was evidence that 
Ambassador Galbraith had proceeded with the idea he had discussed in March. In addition, the 
/m^m^pBr^potted on information provided by the DC.M that the Special Envoy was intent 
on initiating an "Afghan style" Operation to arm the Bosnian Muslims and circumvent the arms 
embargo.'' In subsequent testimony to the Select Subcommittee. ihe lllM WI^Wfctesiil'ied 
that the Croatian inquiries caused him to \\onder %vhether the March inquiry by the Ambassador 
had gone forward and a covert action proposal w as under consideration. " The/||BBBBH^^ 
presents no factual basis for concluding that an inquiry- addressed to him by the Ambassador in 
the sanctity of the United States embassy, if it occurred at all, is related to an inquiry addressed to 
the Special Envoy by the Croatian foreign minister five weeks later. 

By stringing these conversations together in one cable, the MBI^B^Bif gave the 
impression that the question being raised by the Croatians was based on the earlier Galbraith 
inquiry. This report is a compelling example of why the^^BMlBMVMas admonished on 
several occasions about the quality of his reporting. The/^BHIBBHsuspicion over a 
theoretical discussion the ambassador allegedly had with him about finding ways to arm the 

'" Special Envoy Redman has no recollection of ever expressing such an interest during 
his time as Special Envoy. Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 86. 

ubcommittee Dep. at 25. ( 



Bosnian Muslims was extreme. If an Ambassador must be concemcd about conducting a 
theoretical discussion with one of the most knowledgeable people in the embassy, then the 
United States government will be denied a thorough ainng of views and ideas. In addition, the 
report contains rank hearsay that amounts to little more than gossip and rumor mongering with 
respect to the tales told by the DCM about the Special Envoy. This reporting of such gossip and 
rumor about U.S. officials is not intelligence gathering and, when it contains an accusation of 
illegal activity, is absolutely wrong. Moreover, ihegjjfl^^ll^failid to consult with or 
corroborate any of these stories involving such U.S. officials. Finally, both the .-Vmbassador and 
the Special Envoy deny the accuracy of the reports, and the DCM denies making the comment 
about the Special Envoy!^^5S^^ 

On April 21, 1994. ihej^t^^^fZ/fMreponed to headquarters on his conversations 
witlgH^Bil^H^^H^^^B|||[^PI||^^^^B^hregarding the shipment of arms 

to the Bosnians.^' According to thal^BmH^^^I^^BKexpressed ambivalence 
toward the resumption of shipments from Iran and elsewhere and asked the Ututed States to 
identify' any such shipments so that Croatia could interdict. Th^^J^Bmi^Hresponded that 
the United States enforced the arms embargo and expected others to do the same. The irony of 
the reporting by t^T^jH^BHs'^ ^^^ ^^ appears to suspect the motives and intentions of 
the United States government colleagues far more than he suspects the Croats. For example, the 
uncritical report of the remarks b)fim|B||^M'ail to note that he is an ultra-nationalist who 
had strong reasons to oppose any arms for the Bosnians in order to ma-ximize Croatian territorial 


gains in Bosnia. Moreov er.MDB^^H^H regardless of his \ leus on shipping amis lo the 
Bosnian Muslims, had strong reasons to «ani United States intelligence on arms shipments in 
order to make certain that Croatia received its cut of all arms traversing its territory. The fact that 
the ^H^ B^BBfcyfails to provide this t>pe of intelligence assessment is surprising^^l^ 
TheflH^ll^B^/ reporting on April 20 and 21. 1994. alarmed his headquarters in 
the United States by giving the impression that an unauthorized covert action might be 
underway. On April 21. 1994. headquarters responded infomims the^HBHm^Wlhat the 
idea shared by the ambassador in March clearly fell within the definition of a covert action. 
The reporting also led to a series of responses b\iiByheadquaners that contained wholly 
inaccurate legal advice by desk officers without any legal consultation or supervision. This 
advice was wrong, but it was relied upon by thai^^^H^B^hroughout his dealings on this 
matter with the Ambassador. In testimony to the Select Subcommittee. theMBHMBIh/ 
acknowledged that he believed United States acquiescence to the transshipment of Iranian arms 
through Croatia into Bosnia would be a covert action.'" This incorrect legal advice ultimately led 
thei^HHIBilMo conclude that the "no instructions" response suggested a covert action was 

''^|H(Such an operation would require a pres idential finding and n otification of 
Co ngress. Ketnphasis added)./ 

fFoT a discussion of the 
elements of covert action and what activity actually necessitates a Presidential fmding, see 
Chapter One Section Five, supra. The Deputy Chief of Mission indicated to the Subcomminee 
that an issue as important as this would have prompted c on§ultation w ith supervisors and covert 
activities specialists. Select Subcommittee Deposition of^BlBBMBHAug. 16. 1996, at 36 
(hereinaftei^ifcigSSubcommittee Dep"), In this instance, however, "th giDeputy Chief had no 
specific recollection of having gone to her superiors bef( are ipfoH ^ing th^flfli^lh^Blthat 
the Ambassador's proposal would require a flnding. Id. 


[Subconunittec Dep. at 25 



underway. This miscomniunicaiion in mid-Apnl contributed to the breakdown of 
communication betweenMWheadquarters and the rest of the Execuine Branch The confusion 
caused by this miscommuniation was compounded at Embassy Zagreb by multiple conversations 
bervv een the|^|HB^HQnd the DCM in which the latter offered up rumors and speculation 
about confijsion at the Department of State. negati\e attitudes tow?rd the Ambassador and the 
Special Envoy, and activities of various United States officials, all of which was dutifully 
reported by ihd^/ft^f^^^j The miscommunicaiion about the "no instructions" response 
and surrounding events in the Balkans that occurred between the C\.\ and other Executive 
Branch agencies is discussed in more detail in Chapter Two. Section Two of the .Minority Views! 
Contacts with the United States Defense Attache. 
On or about April 18, 1994. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Herrick, the United States 
Detense Attache to Croatia, " met \\ ith Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak at the Croatian 
Ministry of Defense." The Defense Minister wanted the assistance of the United States in 
cleaning up the remnants of an exploded ammunition dump outside of Zagreb." 

'' In addition to serving as the military adv iser to the ambassador, the Defense Attache 
serv es as a diplomatically recognized military observer in an accredited country. Select 
Subcommittee Deposition of LtCol. Richard C. Herrick, Aug. 20, 1996, at 13 (hereinafter 
"Herrick Subcommittee Dep.*'). 

" Id. 

" Id. at 13, 30. The Croatian request required an experienced United States military team 
to provide technical assistance to the Croatians on retrieval of unexploded ordnance that was 
lying in a Zagreb suburb. Id. at 13. Once Ambassador Galbraith learned of the matter, he 
contacted the Departments of State and Defense and informed them of the request. Although the 
Department of Defense initially was concerned that such aid would constitute military assistance 
in \ iolation of the U.N. embargo, the Department of State and others determined that such 
assistance was not in violation of the embargo and could proceed. Id. at 30. The Department of 



^'"J Throughout its Final Report, ihe Majority alleges 
that Ambassador Galbraith was instrumental in the coordination and implementation of the arms 
pipeline. Given that Defense Minister Susak had been approached by so many different people 
over the course of one week, it is obvious that this was not an endeavor coordinated by 
Ambassador Galbraith. but rather a Bosnian initiative in which the Croatians and Iranians were 

active participants 


State concurred with Ambassador Galbraith's conclusion that this amounted to humanitarian 
assistance. Id. This request for assistance is similar to a request for assistance with a missile 
inspection posed by the Croatians a year later which is discussed, infea. Chapter Two, Section 

*> Id. at 14. 


The Susak inquiry did not surprise the Defense Attache. He knew that despite the arms 
embargo in place throughout the region, weapons flowed to the w arring parties/" The Defense 
Attache informed the DCM of his meeting with Minister Susak upon his return to the emoassy/ 
The DCM recommended that the Defense Attache forward a report of the conversation through 

* Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 16. Herrick noted as an example weapons he had seen 
in the Croatian army that could not have been part of its inventory unless weapons were 
streaming through the embargo. Id. 

^' Herrick Subcomminee Dep. at 1 8. The DCM was in charge of the embassy at the time 
the Ambassador was on travel. 



his usual channels " Such routine reporting would include nonrying ihe ambassador of the 
exchange upon his return. 

In the days following, various members of the country team in Embassy Zagreb 
anticipated further Croatian government queries to United States officials about the United States 
reaction to opening an arms pipeline to Bosnia. At no time was any member of the country team 
approached about United Stales arms being supplied, or about the United States undertaking any 
other action on behalf of the Bosnians. Each inquin, and approach sought only the United States 
reaction to arms transshipped through Croatia to Bosnia. .Mihough the|[^BB^mk[dia not 
remark on the consistency of the inquiries, they constitute firm evidence that no broader United 
States role expected. The^H^^BlSBkleamed fron^||^^BPm^BBI^IBjpvas 
planning to ask .\mbassador Galbraith what the United States reaction would be if Croatia 
allow ed w capons to flow to Bosnia. The number and \ ariety of sources w ithin the Croatian 
government who raised the same question of arms shipments with U.S. government officials 
during the week of April 18. 1994. is additional evidence that the March discussions between the 
Ambassador ard '^^^MBBB^W^^^'^^ unrelated^^^^^^^ 

Ambassador Galbraith was traveling when the Croatian inquiries occurred, but he 
returned to the embassy on April 24, 1994." The Ambassador learned for the first time of the 
Croatian request for the United States reaction to arms transshipmenu to the Bosnians.'*" The 

"Id. at 18-19. 

" Ambassador Galbraith had attended a Chief of Mission conference in Brussels and 
traveled in Italy prior to returning to the embassy. Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 5. 




DCM described the Croatian attempt to raise the issue w ith Special Envoy Redman during a 
meeting with Foreign Mmisier Granic.' Based on this infomiaiion from the DCM. the 
Ambassador decided to meet with the Croatians to understand better w hat was needed from the 
Department of State in terms of guidance."" 

Ambassador Galbraith also met with the Defense Attache. 'helj0^^^^^m..:\d the 
DCM to be briefed on events that occurred while he was gone." .\mong other things, the four 
discussed the Croatian inquiries regarding the United States reaction to the resumption of a 
formal arms pipeline between Croatia and Bosnia.^ The discussion focused particularly upon 
the potential Iranian involvement in an arms pipeline." According to the Defense Attache, none 
of the participants "felt comfortable dealing with Iran.""" The Defense Attache sensed a division 
within the Croatian Government about dealing with Iran." Defense .Minister Susak for example 
did not favor the relationship with Iran, but he recognized that an agreement to transship Iranian 

" Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 5. 

" Id. Neitzke had explained to -\mbassador Galbraith that Granic had not been clear in 
his discussions with Rediiian that the Croatians were seeking a policy stance from the United 
States. Id. 

" Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 19;f[pMSubcomminee Dep. at 21. DCM Neitzke 
does not recall having been in a meeting in whichlne ambassador was made aware of the liaison 

and defense channel inquiries. Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 63. 

'* Id.; see also.j^pMrSubcommittee Dep. at 24 (describing a meetir ig.a> ws bich he and 
the Defense Attache relayeHtheir individual discussions with the Croatians). 

" Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 23. 


*■ Id. at 15. 



weapons to the Bosnians uould provide weapons for Croatia " Th<^|pBi^BBBl/prev iously 
was aware that ths^^^^pfficial and the foreign minister were skeptical of the plan. 

Among the tour embassy officials. ihej^piB^BlBK u as most vocal in his opinions 
against Iran." The DCM also was uncomfortable with the Iranian involvement.'"" According to 
the Defense Attache, no one really objected to the arms getting to the Muslims because each 
accepted that the Muslims could not defend themselves."' Thus, each of the four was on notice 
that the Bosnian Muslims were receiving arms, including Iranian arms. Moreover, no one 
expressed the view that the United States should stop the arms tlow by telling the Croatian 
government to resist the transshipment.^^^^^^^ 

According to the (HIBMi^l^^J^rnbassador Galbraith questioned the accuracy of the 
Defense Attache's response to Susak and asked him to arrange a meeting with the defense 
minister so that Susak could pose the question directly to the .Embassador."' Ambassador 
Galbraith wanted the question posed in the foreign policy channel rather than the defense or 

■' Id. at 16. As discussed elsewhere in this report, the Croatians had transshipped 
weapons previously to the Bosnians prior to the outbreak of hostilities between Bosnian Muslims 
and Croats. It was standard practice for the Croatians to take a minimum of twenty-five percent 
of the weapons for themselves. 

" Id. at 23. 

"" Id.; Neiizke Subcommittee Dep. at 157. 

" Id. 

subcommittee Dep. at 24. Although LtCol. Herrick recalled the ambassador's 
query about hirfesponse to Susak, he does not remember ever being asked by Ambassador 
Galbraith to arrange a meeting with the Defense Minister so that the question could be posed to 
him. Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 21 . Galbraith also had met with Foreign Minister Granic 
upon his return. Id. Susak and Granic both indicated that in his meeting on April 28, 1994, 
President Tudjman would raise this question formally with the .Ambassador. Id. at 6, 8. 



intelligence channels so that an au(horitati\ e forciun policy response could be formulated and 
communicaled. The Ambassador also anticipated the question being posed b\ the Croatian 
president and wanted the Depanmcnt of Slate to begin consideration of the request in the e\ent 
the Croatians posed the question again formally. "'/ 

Events of April 27 and April 28, 1 994. 

Dating the period between April 27 and April 29, 1994 the United States response to the 
Croatian question was formulated' and debated. Senior officials at the National Security Council, 
(he Department of State, and Embassy Zagreb remained in constant communication via 
telephone calls, meetings, and cables. The .\mbassador transmitted a cable in which he 
advocated a response favorable to the transshipment of arms; however, he also addressed the 
risks and benefits of doing so, including the likely involvement of the Iranians.*^ 

Sometime during the three days prior to April 28, 1994,°" Ambassador Galbraiih spoke by 
telephone to Alexander Vershbow , the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and 
Canadian Affairs (the "DAS"). The Ambassador recounted what he and other embassy officials 

■Subcommittee Dep. at 3 1 ; Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 64 

" Department of State Cable by .Ambassador Galbraiih, Apr. 27. 1994. 

*' Vershbow maintained contemporaneous notes of his con\ersations regarding the 
Bosnian issue with Ambassador Galbraiih and others. The notes, however, were not dated at the 
time and Vershbow subsequently added dates to his notes. The page memorializing this call has 
the dates 4/25, 4-'26 and 4/27 wTitten at the lop to indicate when the conversation may have 
occurred. In a cable dated April 27, 1994. Mr. Vershbow makes reference to a conversation he 
had with Ambassador Galbraith on "Tuesday." so it is likely that this conversation took place on 
April 26, 1994. 



had heard from the Croatians, namely that the Croatians «cre I'eeling pressure from the Iranians 
and Bosnians to begin supplying arms to the Bosnians. Ambassador Galbraith indicated that he 
had a meeting scheduled with President Tudjman and he believed President Tudjman might use 
the occasion to ask the United States reaction to transshipment of amis, including shipments 
from Iran, through Croatia to Bosnia." Ambassador Galbraith and the DAS discussed the 
implications of the Croatians reestablishing the pipeline including the likelihood that the arms 
shipments w ould be detected by NATO and UNPROFOR forces."' 

Ambassador Galbraith emphasized the importance of the matter to Croatia and the united 
States and the need for guidance quickly. He also indicated that the guidance should come from 
a higher authority than the Deputy Assistant Secretary ." .Ambassador Galbraith informed 
Vershbow that the Croatians would take a percentage of the weapons for themselves as 
payment.'^ The Ambassador requested instructions in the form of a cable and again advocated a 
response that would promote the Federation. 

Follow ing the telephone call. Ambassador Galbraith sent a cable to Washington 
specifically addressing each of the points discussed with Vershbow and requesting immediate 

** Select Subcommittee Deposition of Alexander Vershbow, Aug. 8, 1996, at 14 
(hereinafter "Vershbow Subcommittee Dep."); Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 16. 

*' Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 14-15. 
'-Id. at 15. 



at 16.H 



guidance. ' Ambassador Gdlbraith auain addressed the Iranian concern and noted that Croatia 
should be cautioned against becommu too close with Iran. .Ambassador Galbraith explained 
that opening the pipeline would pave the way for increased arms flov^s from other counines 
besides Iran, but that Iran - which was so eager to be seen by the world as Bosnia's savior - was 
in the best position to provide arms immediately. ' He also reiterated his belief that blocking this 
arrangement between Bosnia and Croatia would be disastrous to the Federation which was 
absolutely critical to peace in the region 

Deputy Assistant Sccietaiy V'ershbow characterized this conversation as the correct wa> 
for "[.\mbassador Galbraith] to bring an issue like this" to his attention. V'ershbow 
acknowledged that the ambassador was advocating a certain position, namely that the arms 
should be allowed to proceed, as any ambassador would on an issue of importance. ' It was an 
ambassador's responsibility to recommend positions to facilitate the formulation of policy in 
Washington. V'ershbow believed that the Ambassador was pro%iding Department officials with 

'" Department of State Cable. Apr. 27, 1994. 

^' Id. The Croatian-Iranian-Bosnian relationship was a constant subject of concern for 
the United States. As mentioned throughout the Minority \'iews. the Iranians had already 
established themselves in the region by April 1994 (some estimates trace Iran's presence back to 
1979). Whenever the subject oflranian involvement arose. United States officials responded that 
caution should be used and reminded the Croatians and Bosnians that if they aligned themselves 
with the west, strong relations with Iran would not be tolerated. United States officials 
recognize, however, that most European countries maintain diplomatic ties w ith Iran and that 
Bosnia, as a European country with a largely Muslim population, was unlikely to sever all ties to 
Iran, so they consistently encouraged the Bosnians to temper their dealings. 

" Id. 

" Vershbow Subconunittee Dep. at 1 7. 

" Id. at 54. 



as much infomiation in advance so that ihey could make a decision promptly before his meeting 
with President Tudjman. " 

Deputy Assistant Secretary- I 'ershbow Discusses the Matter with the Undersecretary. 

Following his conversation with Ambassador Galbraiih. Vershbow met with 
Undersecretary for Political Affairs Peter TamofTC'the Undersecretary"),'" the principal person 
overseeing the Bosnian issue for the Depanment. This meeting concerned a variety of issues 
relating to Bosnia. Undersecretary Tamoff informed the DAS that Thomas Donilon, the Chief 
of Staff for the Secretary of Siafe, had sent a message from Secretary Chnstopher encouraging a 
"quick response" to .Ajiibassador Galbraiih's query. ' The Secretary did not believe that the 
meeting with President Tudjman should be an "anificial" deadline for the United States to 
formulate a response; " however, if a response would be required he did not want the 

'Id. at 17-18. 

■' Ambassador Galbraith attempted to contact Tamoff directly by telephone prior to the 
Vershbow meeting but was unsuccessful. Tamoff Subcommittee Dep. at 30. 

 Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 18. 

'id. at 27; Tamoff Subcommittee Dep. at 6. According to Vershbow, Secretary of State 
Christopher was traveling during this time and Donilon would have been accompanying him. 
The fact that Donilon had sent a message about this issue suggested to Vershbow that 
Ambassador Galbraith's cable of April 27 had been received by at least some in the Department 
prior to his meeting with Tamoff. Id. at 27. Donilon could not recall the exact conversation 
memorialized in Vershbow's notes although he did not dispute the accuracy of the quote 
attributed to him. Select Subcommittee Deposition of Thomas Donilon. Sept. 12, 1996, at 15-16 
(hereinafter "Donilon Subcommittee Dep."). 

' According to a cable transmitted to Ambassador Galbraith by \'ershbow on April 27, 
1994, the Secretary had expressed his view that the United States not respond to such an 
important inquiry according to someone else's - in this case President Tudjman's - timetable. 
Vershbow explained that as of April 27, the Department had no guidance for Ambassador 
Galbraith on the Croatian inquiry. This cable, which in subsequent testimony neither Vershbow 



Ambassador to be left withoui a response and he wanted that response earefully formulated and 

Administration officials were aware that arms had been and were continuing to reach 
the Bosnian Muslims despite the arms embargo. The import of the question being posed to 
Ambassador Galbraith, therefore, was not whether Croatia should send arms in a formal way. but 
rather how the United States would react to such shipments.*' Tamoff and Donilon had 
discussed already the issue of how to respond to President Tudjman's second request for the 
United States position on the arm's transshipments." and were aw are that Iran was a likely arms 
supplier." Donilon and Tamoff relayed this information to the Secretary personally.'^ 

nor .•\mbassador Galbraith recalled, contributed to .Embassador Galbraith's belief in the earlv 
morning hours of April 28 that "no instructions" really meant that the Department had not yet 
formulated a response. 

'" Deputy Assistant Secretary Vershbow 's Contemporaneous Notes. Vershbow 's notes 
indicate that Donilon reported that there was to be "no funny business" in the region which 
reflected the Secretary's commitment to having a coordinated response to the Croatian inquiry. 

" Tamoff Subcomminee Dep. at 11 . 

'• Donilon Subcommittee Dep. at 1 1 . 

" Id. at 16. Donilon concurred with others involved in formulating this policy that the 
issue of Iran was cause for serious consideration and debate and likely was the reason it took so 
long to respond to Ambassador Galbraith's request for guidance. Id. Donilon explained that the 
Secretary also was deeply concerned "on an ongoing basis about the Iranian presence in the 
Balkans." Id. 

" Id. at 12-13; TamofTDep. at 10. When Tamoff learned of this issue, he maintained 
close contact with Deputy National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and the Secretary because he 
believed that it was a timely and sensitive issue. Tamoff Dep. at 10. 



Vershbow recalled that there was no other discussion about the Galhraith cable as 
present generally seemed to be aware of its contents "" 

Vershbow and Tamoff concluded the meeting after discussmg other matters related to 
Bosnia. Although the Croatian inquiry- was a highly sensitive matter, the need to address so 
many other significant issues conceming the region limited the amount of time devoted to the 
response at this meeting. Throughout the day, however. Administration officials continued to 
discuss the options available to them and to shape a response to the impending question."' 

Deputy Assistant Secretary V'ershbow"s contemporaneous notes contain reference to a 
second phone call, probably initiated by Ambassador Galbraith. on .April 27, 1994.' In this 
conversation. Ambassador Galbraith infomied Vershbow that his meeting with President 
Tudjman had been scheduled for 1 1 .30 a.m. the following day." .\mbassador Galbraith also 
continued to discuss with Vershbow the Lnited States reaction to arms shipments through 

Ambassador Galbraith expected a formal request by President Tudjman on the United 
States reaction »o -"ms being sent through Croatia to the Muslims.'" Reference also was made in 

" Vershbow Dep. at 28-30. Undersecretary Tamoff recalled that he received the cable 
from Ambassador Galbraith almost immediately after it arrived and he was aware that Vershbow 
and others had seen it also. TamofT Subcommittee Dep. at 10. 

*' See. e.g.. Tamoff Subcommittee Dep. at 30-31 (noting that simultaneous discussions 
were occurring within the NSC. the Department, and aboard .Air Force One about this issue). 

'" Contemporaneous Notes of Alexander Vershbow, Department of State. 


" Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 32. 



Vershbow's notes to a lunch between Galbraith and Minister Susak which probably provided the 
basis for the additional information he shared with Vershbow durins; this second con\ersation.' 
During this conversation. Ambassador Galbraith informed Vershbow that the Croatian Pnme 
Minister was scheduled to visit Tehran on April 29, 1994. for the express purpose of discussing 
arms shipments."' Accord-ng to Galbraith, the Iranians felt there was "nothing to discu.>i if 
Croatia would not act as a channel.""" The scheduled visit suggests strongly, therefore, that the 
Croatian Prime Minister fully intended to agree to arms transshipments. ' Other^vise. he would 
have had no reason to travel to Tehran. 

Ambassador Galbraith also told the DAS that the arms would arrive via Boeing 747 
aircraft and reiterated the Croatian intention to take a cut of probably fifty percent.'" The 

*' Id. Although Vershbow did not recollect whether or not the lunch had occurred by the 
time of this second conversation, it is likely that it had. Galbraith had met with Susak in order to 
ascertain what it was the Croatians were seeking from the United States. Galbraith 
Subcommittee Dep. at 8. 

" Vershbow Subcomminee Dep. at 32; Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 9. 


" This is also indicative of why resumption of the pipeline was so important to the 
success of the Federation. Croatia already had agreed to allow arms to transit its territory and for 
reasons of its own was seeking to ensure the United States would not object. If the United States 
pressured the Croatians not to resume the arms flows, Bosnia would have been betrayed by her 
alleged new ally and the Federation would have faltered. This is why a carefully crafted 
response that ensured absolutely no action on the pan of the United States was so important and 
why the "no instructions" response was ultimately conveyed and w as successftil in maintaining 
United States and Croatian/Bosnian interests in the region. 

"* Deputy Assistant Secretary Vershbow 's Contemporaneous Notes, Department of State. 
Ambassador Galbraith does not recall the specifics of this conversation but explained that his 
primary focus was on the political decision that had to be made by the Department. Galbraith 
Subcommittee Dep. at 16. 



Majority states that this is clear evidence thai Ambassador Galbraith was an active panicipant in. 
if not the originator of, the entire arms pipeline dcal.^" Aciuallv. this statement confimis what 
officials at Embassy Zagreb already understood: the Croatians had agreed to the resumption of 
the arms pipeline which they believed was highly beneficial to them."" and were seeking added 
support for that decision from the United States. Furthermore, this is exactly the same method 
employed by the Iranians and Croatians prior lo May 1993 for tunneling arms to the Bosnians* 
Given the wide distribution of this information and its availability to anyone having any 
responsibility for monitoring th£ Balkan issue, it is difficult to understand how the Majonty 
could possibly presume that this is indicative of Ambassador Galb-^aiths active participation in 
the agreement to reestablish the formal arms pipeline."' 

' Majority Report at 92-93. 

** Intelligence and military analysts suggest that not only did the pipeline provide 
additional weapons for Croatian stockpiles, but by enabling the Bosnians to defend and maintain 
territory against the Serbs, the Croatians could concentrate their efforts on recapturing Croatian 
territory still held by the Serbs. 

— " There is a vast amount of intelligence that discusses thq 
^farms shipments that was well known to the foreign policy and intelligence communities prior 
*to April 1994. Given the terrain in the region and the strong enforcement of the embargo by 
Operation Sharp Guard participants, cargo flights were the onl> way to get arms to the Bosnians. 
Furthermore, Boeing 747s arc commonly used cargo planes. The only significance of the use of 
747s is that they are incapable of ferrying heavy weapons so this is indkatiiie of the fact that the 
Bosnians only were being supplied with small arms by the Iranians.^tlp^^^ 

" The Majority also makes note of the fact that no one within the Administration 
questioned what type or quantity of arms would be shipped to the Bosnians. The fact is 
Ambassador Galbraith in effect told the DAS exactly what type of arms would be arriving; small 
arms. If the arms supply was to resume via air shipments from Iran, the only arms that could be 
delivered would have been light weapons, ammunition, and raw materials, all of which had been 
shipped previously beginning in 1992. The Administration and intelligence officials had no need 
to request the specific information from the Croatians because they already had it. 



As in their previous discussion. Galbraiih addressed the down sides of the decision, 
including the Iranian factor, for the Bosnians. Croatians. and the United States/"' Ambassador 
Galbraiih and the D.'VS discussed the ditTerent options and agreed that the same type of non- 
responsive response would be ihe most appropriate.'" The Ambassador expressed concern about 
how a "no instructions" response would be interpreted by the Croatians. In both the April 27 
cable and his discussions with Vershbow. Ambassador Galbraith suggested that the Croatians 
would take a "no instructions" response literally and postpone any decision until they heard from 
the United States difrerently.""/_ 

"'^'■[Ambassador Galbraith suggested conveying a more clear 
response to President Tudjman than "no instructions" which would gi\ e the impression that a 
further response was forthcoming."" 

" See Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 52-37. In his .April 27. 1994 cable. Ambassador 
Galbraith also warned that Croatia should be cautioned against building too strong a relationship 
with Iran. 

"° Id. at 36-38. Vershbow explained that this option clearly was the best because it 
provided a way to "shore up" and maintain the Federation, which was the focus of United States 
diplomacy in the region at the time. Id. at 39-40. As a result of that focus, it was implicitly 
understood that a neutral stance "would likely lead to the opening of the arms flow." Id. at 40. 

'*" Galbraith April 27. 1994 Cable at 1 ; Vershbow Subcomminee Dep. at 40. 

"*' Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 40. fl^fVUHIJiHM/that the Iranians were in 
the best position to provide arms on a continuous basis immediately. Once the pipeline had been 
reestablished by the Croatians, aimsshiptjients from other countries such as Turkey and 
Malaysia could proceed in camest^ilifaj^^^ 

'"" Id. at 40-41 . Although "no instructions" is an understood term within diplomatic 
parlance. Ambassador Galbraith recognized that President Tudjman may not possess the 
diplomatic knowledge to understand the nuance of the response. President Tudjman was an 
academic by background and, while a capable president, had not been on the international scene 
for many years. Ambassador Galbraith had hoped to convey a response with the same 




During this con\ersaiion Ambassador Galbraith intinuiod thai the resumption of an arms 
pipeline would appeal lo the members of Congress in fa\or of lifting the arms embargo.' "' The 
Ambassador and Vershbow also discussed the implications of a United States role in the 
Croatian decision to supply arms. Ambassador Galbraith and N'ershbow concurred that, while 
United Nations Security Resolution 713 called on states to comply with the arms embargo, it did 
not require enforcement of the embargo against other countries '" Ambassador Galbraith 
reiterated the importance of making a decision"" on this matter so that he would arrive at the 
meeting with President Tudjman with guidance." \'ershbo\\ ended the conversation by 

connotation as no instructions, but one that would be more easily understood by the Croatian 

'" Id. at 42. Throughout 1994 and 1995. Congress anempted to enact legislation that 
would lift the embargo on the Bosnian Muslims. There was consensus both in the .Administration 
and Congress that the arms embargo was punishing the Bosnian Muslims unfairly. For a 
detailed examination of congressional involvement in the Balkan conflict, see Chapter One, 
Sections Three and Four (detailing congressional initiatives and know ledge throughout the 
Balkan conflict). According to Vershbow's contemporaneous notes. .Embassador Galbraith 
believed that Congr*"^ would see the resumption of arms as a positive step toward helping the 
Bosnians. Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 42-43. 

'"■ See U.N. Security Council Res. 713, Sept. 25. 1991; Vershbow Subcomminee Dep. at 


Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 48. 

"" Id. Ambassador Galbraith was aware that there were differing opinions on resumption 
of the pipeline within the Croatian government. As Foreign Minister Granic had intimated in 
discussions with Special Envoy Redman, and as the intelligence liaison had indicated, some 
were opposed to the shipment of arms, particularly those from Iran. Others such as Minister 
Susak approved of the arms shipments primarily because the\ would increase Croatian 
stockpiles. Ambassador Galbraith and the DAS believed how ever, that the ultimate decision 
would be made by President Tudjman alone. See id. at 5 1 . 



assuring Ambassador Galbraith that the Depanmeni was working on the maiter and that he 
would have the necessan. guidance."" 

Ambassador Galbraith Consults with His^ 

At the end of the day on April 27. Ambassador Galbraith met with the^HJ^HHBWio 

discuss tha^^BHH^^H response tc/^MmBlWquestion about the United States 
^ ~ -J i-^ — \ ^'—' 

reaction to the transshipment of arms through Croatia.' " Like the Defense Attache's response to 
a similar question posed by Minister Susak. ihe/^mB^BBHBI^BBH^BAvhat he 
believed was the United Staiei po.icy on the arms embargo." ^3^^^ 

Possessed with the know ledge learned from Vershbow that new guidance was imminent 
and concerned that theMHHHH^|<uid Defense Attache responses to the Croatian inquiries 
within their respective channels may ha\ e been mcorrect. the Ambassador instructed th^^Q 
fl^BHto indicate that the United States policy was under review if the issue were raised again 
^^!^"VBi9Ll °^ l'^"^'' ^*'^' ^° tekqJtfitt^/^tdio the .\mbassador. Of course the 
source of the Ambassador's concern was not only that an incorrect policy had been transmitted. 

'"' Id. at 61. Vershbow did not, however, inform Galbraith that such guidance would be 
in writine. Id. 

_ '"" Qalbraith Subcommittee Dep. at lOJ 




but the fact that thelfliMMI^^fhad used the intelligence channel to transmit policy w ithout 
first consulting with him."^^i^J^ 

The j^^H^BHvrefused the Ambassador's request on the grounds that the response 
the Ambassador hoped to provide first required a presidential t'mding'" and specific instructions 
from "Washington[, D.C.)'"" The |PM — fcbgreed that all policy-related questions 
should be addressed to the Ambassador.'" There is no indication, however, that thc^fB^' 
^^■wacted upon the Ambassador's request to hav^|^pMmm|[call the .\mbassador 
directly, although the/mBBHBBcontinued to discuss the ( 'niled Stales reaction and its 
results w ith|j||PB^9Bljihroughout the spnng and summer of 1994. 

The conduct of th^^PIBmBp^reated special ditTiculiies for the United States 
policy makers in general and the Ambassador in panicular. The MHimBBhkl ready had 
used the^pi^^|^^PM|^o communicate what he believed to be United States policy. The 
communication was soon proven to be incorrect, but the i^^B^BIHviow refused to 

"" In the wake of Iran-contra, use of the intelligence channels to transmit policy generally 
i sdiscouraged by the CIA. Woolsey HPSCI Dep. at 15. If a special relationship exists between 
2lflHBBH^MM|HiBHl^B|BM^'hich places him in a better position than the 
Ambassador to transmit policy effectively to the government, the channel may be used. Select 
Subcommittee Deposition of Janet Andres, Sept. 30, 1994, at 24 (hereinafter "Andres 
Subconumnee Dep."). The transmission of policy alwavs is at the discretion of the Ambassador. 

'" For a discussion of presidential findings, see supra Chapter One, Section Five. 

^^^ _ /April 28, l994^J|ta|Subcommittee Dep. at 

2S.ld^l^3d informed th^^j^^on .April l^^VnA that the "question oTtTroatian assistance in 
the circimivention of the embargo in exchange for a cut has come to the fore" in light of 
Redman's meeting with Granic on April 18. 1994.fl|pBBHm0B^i7April 20, 199 

Subcommittee Dep at 25. Id. at 26-2 




communicate the correct information. Moreover, the fact thatJ 

^^m^BHHHII^^creatcd a particularly high probabiht> that the President would 

be confused if a response different than the one givenjjplBKwas communicated directly to 

him. This is precisely what occurred. Ironically, as a consequence of this conversation w iih the 

.\mbassador, thnM^^BHH^^egan to report more aggressiNcly on the conversations he had 

with, or were related to him by. United States embassy personnel about the issue of arms 

delivered through Croatia to Bosnia.""' 

Policy Makers Debate and Formulate a Response to the Croatian Inquiry: 
Air Force One Discussions. 

On April 27, 1994, President Clinton. National Security Advisor .\nthony Lake, and 

Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott (the "Deputy Secretary") tra\eled to California aboard .\ir 

Force One for the funeral serv ices of former President Richard M. Nixon. During the trip, 

Talbon and Lake discussed .\mbassador Galbraith's impending question from the Croatians" 

as well as the various options available to respond to this request."* Deputy Secretary Talbott 

"JlflHSubcomminee Dep. at 26-27 

"" Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 30. 

'" Id. There were three options considered seriously for the response to President 
Tudjman. The first option was to approve the shipments outright. Such action would be known 
to our allies who were opposed to the lifting of the embargo and could be seen by the Serbs as 
the United States declaring alliance with the Bosnian Muslims. The second option would be to 
inform President Tudjman that the United States opposed the shipments. As Ambassador 
Galbraith suggested, such a position could lead to the breakdown of the Federation and the 
further military strangulation of the Bosnian Muslims. The final option was to inform President 
Tudjman that the ambassador had "no instructions" thus allow ing the Croatians to pursue the 
proposal while not offending the allies. For a detailed analysis of the available policy options. 
see supra Chapter One, Sections Three and Four. 



and Lake, as well as the other policy makers iiuojvcd. readied a consensus that the "no 
instructions" response was the best option a\ailablc to the L niied States ''' Talbott and Lake 
knew that the Iranian presence already was established in the region because of the onaoine 
hostilities and that the only way to remove them would be through estabhshing peace. The 
continuation of the Federation and the establishment of some military balance among the wanine 
factions was essential to that peace. 

Reestablishing the pipeline likely would accomplish the latter two requirements: 
therefore, the United States accepted the Iranian presence as a necessar>' risk.'"" In reaching ihis 
decision, the policy makers carefully considered the Iranian factor when weighing the available 
options and clearly realized that an increased Iranian presence was a drawback to this option.'"' 
The "no instructions" response, however, represented w hat the National Security Ad\ isor and the 
Deputy Secretan- believed to be the best of the imperfect options a\ailable to the United States. 

The "no instructions " response did not reflect a change in the United States policy toward 
the embargo; the Clinton Administration vehemently opposed the application of the embargo on 
the Bosnian Musli»"s and had taken only minimal steps to enforce the embargo against them.'" 

'" TamoffSubconunittee Dep. at 8. 

'^ Talbott Subcomminee Dep. at 34-35. See also Tamoff Subcommittee Dep. at 9 
(noting that "it was conmionly held that the Iranians were already present in Bosnia."). 

'■' Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 34. 

'-- Prior to war breaking out between the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims in May 
1993, routine shipments of arms were detected by Western intelligence sources. Except for those 
interdicted at sea, none of these known shipments were stopped during the Clinton 
administration. Even after the war had restricted the formal pipeline between Croatia and 
Bosnia, arms continued to trickle in to the Bosnian Muslims. Intelligence indicated that these 



Further, ihe "no instructions" response would not constitute a violation of the arms embargo b\ 
the United States'" Responding in this manner allowed the United Slates to avoid taking a 
position that was opposed by our allies, maintain the efficiency of the Federation which the 
United States saw as imperative to securing peace in the region, and enable the Bosnian Muslims 
to obtain light arms. 

National Security Advisor Lake presented the proposed response to President Clinion 
aboard .\ir Force One.'"' The President affirmed the course of action that had been outlined for 
him.'"" Deputy Secretary Talbott contacted Undersecretary Peter Tamoff who was .Acting 
Secretarv in Talbott's absence, to make certain that the response and the reasons for it w ere 
conveyed accurately.'"' Tamoff relayed the decision to Thomas Donilon who informed the 
Secretary of State of the President's decision.'"" .Although the Secretary had not participated 

arms were available on the black market, smuggled in on relief convoys, or transported by 
UNPROFOR contingents. 

'■■ United Nations Security Resolution 713 required states to refrain from delivering arms 
to any state of the former Yugoslavia but it did not require states to enforce the embargo with 
regard to third countries. 

'-''Id. at 31. 

•"' Id. 

'-* Id. at 32. Undersecretary Tamoff recalls having discussions on this issue with Sandy 
Berger. the Deputy National Security Advisor. According to TamofTs recollection, Berger was 
in touch w ith Air Force One and he actually informed Tamoff that the instructions to Galbraith 
were to convey "no instructions." Tamoff Subcommittee Dep. at 5. Although witness 
recollections differed slightly on this series of conversations, the Minority concludes that 
Undersecretary Tamoff and other key figures were kept adequately informed throughout the 

'■" Donilon Subconunittee Dep. at 13. Tamoffhad been in contact with Donilon 
throughout the day and the Secretary was aware fiiUy that these policy discussions were ongoing 



directly in the policy discussions occurring in Washington and aboard Air Force One. he 
concurred with the decision.'"' 

The Majority takes note that none of the options considered b> the Administration 
included prohibiting Intnian arms from transiting Croatia, but allowing "more palatable and less 
dangerous sources" of arms to arrive.'^ But the question posed to 'Jnited States officials 
throughout April 1994 by the Croatians was not what the United States position on an Iranian 
arms pipeline to the Bosnians would be. but rather, whether the L'nited States would object to the 
resumption of the arms pipeline wiiich consisted of. among others. Croatian. Turkish. Malaysian, 
South African, and Iranian arms. An attempt to exclude Iranian weapons to the Bosnians would 
have created very difficult practical problems. The United States would have been forced to be 
more active in securing arms from other countries which would have created problems with our 
allies; and it would have forced the Bosnians - and the Croatians - to become more dependent on 

in Washington and aboard Air Force One. Id; Tamoff Subcoirunittee Dep. at 7. 

'"* Donilon Subconunittee Dep. at 15. Donilon testified that the Secretary gave no 
opinion on the matter other than an "okay" when informed of the policy decision. Id.; see also 
Tamoff Subcommittee I>ep. at 8 (explaining that the bulk of his conversations with the Donilon 
and the Secretary concemed the available options and risks involved in each response). Donilon 
explained, however, that if the Secretary had any concerns or disagreements with the position, he 
would have registered those with the policy makers in Washington directly. Donilon 
Subcommittee I>ep. at 14-15; Tamoff Subcommittee Dep. at 10. The Department of State has a 
system in place whereby the Acting Secretary has the full authority to act while the Secretary is 
traveling without seeking the Secretary's input into a particular matter. Id. at 33-35. If, 
however, in an instance such as this one the Acting Secretary believes that the Secretary should 
know of the events occurring, an elaborate communications network is available. Id. at 34. In 
this case Undersecretary Tamoff believed the issue important enough to keep the Secretary 
informed throughout the entire process. 

'-'' Majority Final Report at 97. 



the United States to screen all the arms entennj: the region to ensure they were noi Iranian Such 

an etTort would ha\ e attracted more attention to the shipments and impeded the arms tlow . The 

whole purpose of the "no instructions" response was to make sure thai the United States took 

absolutely no active position on the arms pipeline. 

Ambassador Galbraith Receives ".\o Instructions" and Responds 
to the Croatian President. 

Deputy Assistant Secretary Vershbow contacted .Ambassador Galbraith in the early 
morning hours of April 28, 1994, 'and relayed the Administration's response.' ' 0\er an open 
line from his home, Vershbow informed Ambassador Galbraith that he should tell Tudjman that 
he had "no instructions."'" At the time. Ambassador Galbraith understood this to mean that the 
State Department had not yet formulated a response."" 

Ambassador Galbraith went to his meeting with President Tudjman."' The meeting 

"° Ambassador Galbraith believes the telephone call came at 6:30 a.m. Zagreb time. 
Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 2 1 . 

'" Vershbow Dep. at 63. Vershbow could not recollect on whose authority he made the 
call, but he presumed it came from Undersecretary Tamoff. Vershbow admits that this phone 
call may have been "rather cryptic" because it was made on an unsecure line from his home. 
Vershbow made the telephone call late at night, Washington time, to compensate for the time 
difference and not wake the ambassador too early in the morning, Zagreb time. Id. 

'" Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 22. In hindsight, however, the Ambassador believ es 
that he was aware through his earlier conversations that the "no instructions" response was 
heavily favored in Washington, but because Vershbow was on an open line the specificity of that 
decision was not conveyed. Id. 

'" Also in attendance at this meeting was Tom Minnacht, the economic officer for the 
embassy who served as a note taker, and possibly Professor Paravic, a Croatian national w ho 
serN-ed as President Tudjman's translator although the President did speak English. Galbraith 
Subcommittee 23. 



concerned a variety orissues outside of the amis transshipments."' and when President Tudjnian 
posed the question. Ambassador Gaibraith intbmicd him that he had no instructions because 
Washington had not yet issued a response.' " Ambassador Gaibraith believed thai President 
Tudjman was not satisfied with this answer and had hoped for something more definitive."" 

After the initial meeting with President Tudjman. Ambassador Gaibraith sent a cable to 
the Department of State reporting the details of his conversation and requesting further 
guidance." Ambassador Gaibraith's cable \% as critical of the position in which he had been 
placed as a resuh of having :o tell President Tudjman that he had no instructions. AmbasscJ,_r 
Gaibraith reiterated his belief that this quer> by the Croatians was of great import and should be 
treated as such by the United Stales.' * Ambassador Gaibraith believed strongly that the United 
States should be able to respond to a diplomatic request in a timely manner, especially one with 
as much potential significance to the survival of the Bosnian Muslims and the future of the newly 
created Federation and the success of peace in the region.' '' Ambassador Gaibraith cabled 

'" Id. at 24-25; Gaibraith Cable, Zagreb 1721, Apr. 28. 1994. 

'" Galbraiih Subcommittee Dep. at 23. 

'"Id. at 25. 

'" Gaibraith Outgoing Cable. Apr. 28. 1994. 

'" Id. Gaibraith explained in testimony that although arms had flowed previously to the 
Muslims via Croatia, it was a trickle of linle significance. Funher, Croatia had faced United 
States as well as international sanctions in February 1994 resulting from its support of the 
Bosnian Croats during the Muslim-Croat war. Having emerged from that, Croatia did not want 
to take any actions that would run afoul of United States policy and possibly bring sanction 
threats again. Gaibraith Subconuninee Dep. at 27. This is why the Croatians broached the 
subject at all with the United States and why it was of such importance to them. Id. 

'"Id. at 27. 



Washington but heard nothing in response until his convcrsaiioii uith Jcnonnc Walker on Apnl 
29. 1994." 

Vershbow testified that on the afternoon of Apnl 28. 10')4. he discussed the Croatian 
inquiry with .Embassador Charles Redman.'^' \ershbow's notes of the conversation record 
Redman remarking to Ver<;hbow that President Tudjman had requested his presence in Zagreb to 
discuss, among other things, arms shipments from Iran.'''" Redman indicated to Vershbow that 
he would go to Zagreb on Friday afternoon and. if he had instructions, he would con\ey them.'''' 

'"^ Id. at 28. Ambassador Galbraith did not recall having any other conversations with 
Vershbow on April 28; however, Vershbow believes that he spoke again with Ambassador 
Galbraith on .April 28 to clarify that the United States position on this matter was that the 
ambassador had no instructions w ith regard to the Croatians facilitating arms transfers to the 
Bosnians. \'ershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 63. 

'■" Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 70. Vershbow's contemporaneous notes place the 
conversation at 12:45 p.m., Washington. D.C. time. Special Envoy Redman has no recollection 
of this conversation. Select Subcommittee Deposition of Charles Redman. .\ug. 27, 1994 at 38 
(hereinafter "Redman Subcommittee Dep."). Special Envoy Redman frequently telephoned ihe 
Department of State, the National Security Council, and the Department of Defense during his 
negotiations. See, e.g., Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 39 (noting, '"I was in touch with as many 
people as I could all the time"); Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at; Select Subcommittee 
Interview of Jenonne Walker. Aug.. 21, 1996, at 1 (hereinafter "Walker Subcommittee 
Int.")( stating that "when Charles Redman was Special Envov he had almost daily contact w ith 
the NSC staff. . . ."). 

Special Envoy Redman had been appointed by President Clinton to replace the former 
Special Envoy Reginald Banholemew. Redman had just concluded the Washington Accords and 
was in the midst of continuing Federation agreements and Contact Group meetings during this 

'*- Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 70. Redman recalls that the purpose of his meeting 
with President Tudjman was to brief him on the contact group meetings. Redman Subcommittee 
Dep. at 41. 

'*' Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 70-71. Vershbow could not recollect how this issue 
had come to Redman's attention. He surmised that Redman had become aware through 
Galbraith's reporting cables. Id. at 70. In addition to many executive agency and Department 



Vershbow cannot recollect clearly whether he informed Redman of the emerging "no 
instructions" policy, but assumes that he must ha\e since the call would have been on a secure 
telephone line.'" 

Events of April 29, 1994: The Question Is Posed Again. 

On April 29. Vershbow drafted a cable to Ambassador Galbraith which was never 
transmitted."' Vershbow testified that the cable had been wnnen after at least one of 
Ambassador Galbraith's meetings with President Tudjman. and given the time difference, may 
have been written after both meetings."" The cable was merely a written record of the 
instructions that Galbraith already had received orally, according to Vershbow."" The "'no 
instructions" response was the formal United States position on the matter and the cable merely 

personnel, Redman was 'lagged " to receive .Ambassador Galbraith's outgoing cables. See 
Galbraith Outgoing Cable. Apr. 27. 1994. 

'" Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 72. Vershbows recollection could not be refi-eshed 
by his notes as there is no indication of what he told Redman during the call. During this 
conversation, Redman further explained that in his dealings w iih Bosnian Prime Minister 
Silajdzic, it was the Bosnian belief that the Croats wanted money rather than arms and that 
pending economic contracts with Iran were beine held up through "Bosnian/Iranian contrivance.' 
Id. at 71. 



" Id. at 63. Other than the cryptic "no instructions" response he received from 
Vershbow in the early morning hours of .April 28, 1994, Ambassador Galbraith does not recall 
speaking with the DAS prior to his conversation on the evening of April 29, 1994 with Jenonne 
Walker of the NSC. Vershbow believes, however, that he ma> have telephoned Ambassador 
Galbraith again on April 29 to reiterate the "no instructions" response and that it was after this 
call that the cable was drafted. Id. at 61. 63. 



was an ex post facto historical record of those instructions "' 

Special Envoy Redman arrived in Za;:reh on April 29. 1994. and together with the 
Ambassador, was scheduled to have dinner with President Tudjman."" Ambassador Galbraith 
expected that President Tudjman would renew his inquiry as to the United States reaction to 
Croatia's transshipment of arms to Bosnia. 

.Embassador Galbraith telephoned Special Envoy Redman prior to his arrival at Embassy 
Zagreb' '" and asked the Special Envoy to his residence prior to the dinner as he had something to 
discuss with him. Ambassador Galbraith was eager to engage Special Envoy Redman on the 
anticipated request prior to the meeting because of his knowledge of the region and of Balkan 
issues.'" .Ambassador Galbraith believed that the Special Envoy's involvement would elicit a 
response from Washington and that his presence at the Tudjman meeting would be beneficial 
Ambassador Galbraith Contacts the \SCfor Final Guidance. 

That evening. Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman met in the embassv 
residence. Ambassador Galbraith elaborated on his earlier, crvptic message and explained that 

Id. The draft cable read in pertinent part: 
If the subject [of arms shipments through Croatia] is raised again, you should sute that 

you have no instructions on this maner This has been reviewed at high levels within 

the United States govenunent. 

'" Redman Subcomminee Dep. at 41. 

""Id. at 40. 

'*' Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 35. 

'" Id. at 35-36. 



he was still awailinu further guidance on responding lo the fonheoming Croatian question.''' 
Ambassador Galbraith informed Special Envoy Redman thai lie would call the National Security 
Council ("NSC") to see if he could obtain further guidance.' Special Ensoy Redman 
concurred because he also felt that this issue was particularly important to the future of the 

The Defense Attache also was present at the residence'"" to discuss the recent request for 
technical assistance from the Croatians " as well as the anticipated question from Tudjman.'"' 
The Defense Attache place-- the call to Jenonne Walker at the NSC'"^ on behalf of .\mbass"djr 
Galbraith.""' Ambassador Galbraith first discussed Susaks request w iih Walker and then 

'-'Id. at 41. 

''' Id.; Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 30. 

'■' Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 42. 

'" Henick Subcomminee Dep. at 25. 

" Id.; see, supra n.9 (discussing the Croatian request for assistance with an exploded 
ammimition dump.) The Defense Attache and Ambassador Galbraith had discussed this matter 
previously and had concurred that they should telephone Walker. Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 
27. LtCol. Herrick indicated that the United States did send a team to assist the Croatians with 
the ammunition dump "within the next couple of days" after this telephone call. Id. at 30. 

'" Redman Subcoinmittee Dep. at 42. Ambassador Galbraith believes that he may have 
discussed the ordnance matter with Jane Hall, another NSC staff person, prior to speaking with 
Jenofuie Walker, although both conversations occurred during the same telephone call. Galbraith 
Subcomminee Dep. at 30. 

'" Jenonne Walker was the senior NSC staff member responsible for the Balkans. 

'*° Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 26. 



informed her of the impending meeting with President Tudjman.'"' 

Special En\oy Redman and the Defense Attache were present in the room dunng 
.\mbassador Galbraith's conversations with Walker about the impending question from the 
Croatians.'"' Walker informed the ambassador that the response to the question was to be "no 
instructions."'"' Ambassador Galbraith understood Walker was relaying these instructions 
directly from .\nthony Lake.'" Ambassador Galbraith was told that Lake had relayed the 
instructions with '"a smile and a raised eyebrow."'^' When .Ambassador Galbraith concluded his 
conversation, he had no doubi iha' the "no instmctions" response was the formal United Staui 
reply to be conveyed to the Croatian government and that it \\as supported by both the National 

'*' Henrick Subcommittee Dep. at 26. 


'" Jenonne Walker recalls telling Galbraith that he was to inform President Tudjman 
"that the United States would comply with the embargo, but that he had no instructions as to 
Croatia." Walker Subcommittee Int. at 1. 

"^ Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 29. Jenonne Walker recalls giving Galbraith the no 
instructions advice prior to discussing the matter with Anthony Lake. Walker Subcomminee Int. 
at 1. Walker stated, however, that Lake concurred with her instructions to Galbraith and, in fact, 
instructed her to reiterate them for Ambassador Galbraith. Id. The fact that Walker does not 
recall events in the same sequence as the other witnesses to this conversation is not a matter of 
substance as she does recall that the instructions given to Galbraith were 1 ) the United States 
complies with the embargo, and 2) there are no instructions with regard to the Croatian question 
which is consistent with the testimony of other witnesses. 

"' Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 3 1 . Jenonne Walker does not recall whether she 
contacted the Ambassador again after discussing this matter with Anthony Lake, bu; she believed 
it logical that she would have. Walker Subcommittee Int. at 1-2. Walker had no recollection of 
Lake confirming the "no instructions" with a smile and raised eyebrows. Id. at 2. 



Security Council and the Department of Slate.""' 

After Ambassador Galbraith ended his conversation wiih Walker. Special En\ov Redman 
spoke 10 her.'"' Special Envoy Redman talked with Walker for five or ten minutes'"' about his 
meetings with the contact group and other matters.'"" At the conclusion of the conversation. 

'"■ Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 37-38. Prior to this conversation with Galbraith and 
Redman, Walker was aware of the "no instructions" policy although she could not recollect from 
where. Walker Subcommittee Dep. at 2. Walker recalls conveying this guidance to Alexander 
Vershbow at the Department of State at some point after her discussion with Lake and receiving 
assurance from Vershbow that ije would run it through his chain of command to ensure that 
Ambassador Galbraith received the correct instructions Id. It is her belief that Vershbow told 
her that Galbraith had been told by the Department of State that the United States abided by the 
embargo and expected Croatia to do the same. Id. at 2. Vershbow, however, only recalls giving 
Galbraith the temporary "no instructions" policy. Special Envoy Redman also does not recall 
telling Walker that these were the instructions Galbraith had received from the Department of 
State. Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 43. 

This was an extraordinarily busy and delicate time for the policy makers involved in 
obtaining peace within the Balkans. Literally hundreds of phone calls and hours of negotiations 
occurred daily. The fact that witnesses have difTerent recollections of the timing and exact 
wording of a few conversations over the course of days is not significant in light of the overall 
circumstances in which they occurred. As stated throughout this Section, the Minority affords no 
special significance to the fact that witness recollections of these events do not coincide 

'*■ Herrick Subconunittee Dep. at 31. Jenonne Walker does not recall the conversation 
being initiated by the Defense Attache on behalf of Ambassador Galbraith. It is her belief that 
the telephone call was initiated by Ambassador Redman. Walker Subcommittee Int. at 1 . 
According to Walker, Redman telephoned her from Zagreb because he believed that Ambassador 
Galbraith had received instructions on this matter that both "surprised and troubled" him. Id. He 
then put Galbraith on the telephone. Id. None of the other witnesses interviewed by the Select 
SubcoiTunittee recall the events of this evening in the same manner as Jenonne Walker. It is 
possible, due to the lapse of over two years, that the witnesses recall certain things with varying 
clarity. The Minority Staff does not consider this discrepancy material to the events that took 
place or this investigation. 

'" Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 31. 

'" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 44. Redman characterized his conversation with 
Walker as typical of his daily debriefings on negotiations that he would give her whenever 



Ambassador Gjibrailh and Special Envoy Rodman left for the nicctinu \vith President Tudjnian: 
the Defense Attache did not accompany the Ambassadors to the meetini;.' 
The April 29, 1994 Tudjnian Meeting. 

On their way to the meeting with Tudjman. Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy 
Redman discussed the dehvery of the United States response to President Tudjman.' ' Both 
officials considered the diplomatic exchange to be of the utmost importance, and wanted to be 
sure they con\ eyed the policy correctly and in a manner that \v ould be understood clearly by the 
Croatians.' • The United States foreign policy community had expended great effort over the last 
seventy-two hours carefully crafting the response and it was imperative that the language not be 

Before the dinner with Tudjman. the .Embassadors met with the President in his upstairs 
office at the presidential palace.' ' When Tudjman asked the question. .Embassador Galbraith 
replied: 'I have no instructions, but pay attention to what I am not saying."' ' President Tudjman 

possible. Id. at 45. To the best of his recollection, he had no independent conversation with 
Walker about the Croatian question. Id. at 44-45. 

'"' Herrick Subconuninee Dep. at 32. 

' ' Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 47. 

'^ Id. Ambassador Galbraith had expressed earlier in his conversations with the Deputy 
Assistant Secretary his concerns that a pure "no instructions" response might not be understood 
accurately by the Croatians. It was, therefore, extremely important to Ambassador Galbraith that 
he deliver the response as succinctly as possible. Id. at 48 (noting that 'Ihis question was from 
the President of a country to which [Ambassador Galbraith] was accredited, so he wanted to be 
responsive and he wanted to responsive in accordance with policy."). 

'"'Id. at 50. 

'"* Galbraith Subcommince Dep. at 38. 



listened carefully to the response but both Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman 
believed that he did not completely understand what v\as bcinj; con\e\ed.' " 

As the meetmy adjourned and the three proceeded dovsnsiairs to dinner. President 
Tudjman pulled Redman aside' " and asked the Special Envoy what .\nibassador Galbraith's 
response meant and if there was something more that could be told him.' ' Special Envoy 
Redman responded, "It's your decision. We do not want to be put in the position of saying 
no.'" ' President Tudjman had no outward reaction to this response nor did he raise the issue 
again throughout the dinner " Both Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman be'\fved 
at that point that the Croatians understood that the United States would not object to the Croatian 
decision to transship arms to the Bosnians. " 

The Decision to Report Orally to Washington. 

After the dinner Galbraith and Redman discussed how to repon to Washington on their 

Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 50; Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 38. 

' * Id. According to Ambassador Redman, it w as a Croatian tradition to conclude 
business and proceed downstairs for a short cocktail and dinner. Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 

•"Id. at 51. 

' ' Id. It is important to note that this was not the first time such a question had been 
posed to a United States Special Envoy. In April 1993. the United States Special Envoy was 
Reginald Bartholcmew, the current Ambassador to Italy. During the month of April, 
Ambassador Bartholemew was approached by Defense .Vlinister Susak and asked what the 
United States position was on Croatian facilitated arms shipments to Bosnia. See, pages 33-38, 
supra. Special Envoy Bartholemew responded exactly as Special En\oy Redman did nearly a 
year and half later: "We do not want to be put in the position of saying no." 

' ' Redman Subconmiinee Dep. at 51. 

"" Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 39; Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 51. 



encounter with Tudjman.'" Special En\oy Redman was scheduled to depart Zagreb for 
Washington. DC. the next day"- and the two agreed that Rodman could brief the appropriate 
officials orally at that time. Special Envoy Redman remarked that an oral response was 
consistent with the fact that the response had been received orally.'" Special Envoy Redman 
told Ambassador Galbraith that he would contact him about sending a follow-up cable.'*'' 

Special Envoy Redman met with the National Security .Advisor upon his return to the 
United States.'" The meeting primarily concerned Redman's work with the Contact Group."" 
Redman also briefed Lake «. ,t ;he Tudjman meeting and informed him that he and .\mbassaoor 
Galbraith expected the Croatians to proceed with the shipments as a result of the United States , 
response." The National Security Advisor nodded his understanding of this expectation. " 

Special Envoy Redman asked Lake if he desired further reporting from Ambassador 

'" Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 40. 

"" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 52. 

'" Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 40; Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 40. Ambassador 
Redman explained that reporting orally was far more efficient given the fluid nature of events in 
the Balkans. There was no time to sit down and write long reports of events. Redman 
Subcommittee Dep. at 79. 

'** Galbraith Subconunittee Dep. at 40. 

"" Redman Subcomminee Dep. at 52. Redman "typically reported to Tony Lake 
whenever he came back from a mission." Id. 

'" Id. 

"" Id. 

'" Id. 



Galbraith on this matter.'"' Lake indicated that no lurihcr rcponing on the matter would be 
necessar\." Special Envoy Redman telephoned Ambassador Galbraith and infonned him that a 
reporting cable would not be necessar>.' ' 

There has been wide debate about why this meeting was not memorialized in some 
written record and whether Special Envoy Redman's oral report to officials in Washington was 
out of the ordinary. The Minority concludes that there was nothing incorrect in the decision to 
report this matter orally. It was expected that the United States response would have immediate 
results"" and notification of the responsible officials in a timely manner was essential, c ,"ole* 
traffic, even that with restricted distribution, was distributed widely. '■ and given the 
Administration's desire to keep the exchange closely held, wide distribution was considered 
unw ise. Time also was a factor to be considered when using cables to report important e\ ents; it 
often took several days for cables to reach the various people who needed the information. The 
decision to have Special Envoy Redman deliver the results orally ensured that the proper policy 
makers were notified promptly and thoroughly of the meeting results. The decision to report 
orally also war in keeping with the way this policy decision had been handled throughout the 

'" Id. at 54. 


'" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 56; Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 42. 

'"' As discussed supra pages 130-131, Ambassador Galbraith knew that the Iranians and 
Croatians were scheduled to meet on this matter the very next day. If, as expected, the Croatians 
took the United States response to mean there would be no United States objections to the 
transshipments, those shipments could be arranged immediately. In fact, the first shipments of 
arms for the Bosnians were transshipped the following week. 

"' Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 40-41. 



United Sutes govemment'*' and reflects no deviation from accepted diplomatic practices, 
particularly as they occuiied with regard to the highly fluid nature of the Balkans. 

Other Events of April 30, 1994. 

On April 30, Croatian Prime Minister Valentic arrived in Tehran. Valentic and his . 
delegation met with Bosnian Deputy Prime Minister Edib Buk\ic, who had arrived the day 
before, and Iraiuan First Vice President Habibi.'** According to foreign press reports, the 
meetings concerned "resolving the Bosnian crisis and humanitarian aid,"'** but likely also dealt 
with the resumption of ttw arms pipeline.'*^ On this same day. Vershbow recalls that he bpoke 
again with Galbraith and reiterated that "no instructions" was indeed the United States re^wnse 
to the Croatians.'** 

'** See. &g., Donilon Subcommittee Dep. at 19, 20 (noting that to his knowledge all 
debate took place orally). 

'** FBIS Rqxwt, Apr., 29, 1994. 

'** FBIS Rcport^'Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, China. "May, 1, 1994. 

'" FBIS 1 

'** Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 63. Vershbow knew by Ais time that diese 
instructions had been passed to Tudjman by Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman, 
but it was his intention to clarify diat diis was not, m fact, an interim re^wnse, but the only 
reqxMise that the United States was to give on the matter. Vershbow may have been reiterating 
tile "no instructions" policy as a resuh of a conversation with Jenonne Walker. See Walker 
Subcommittee Int at 2. (Walker relayed the "no instructions" information to Sandy Vershbow 
wtw advised that he would pass it through the Dq>artment of State.) 



Events of Early May 1994: The Days Following the "So Instructions" Response. 

As mentioned above, on May 2. 1994. Special Envoy Redman telephoned Ambassador 
Galbraith and informed him that Lake had been briefed on the Apnl 29, 1994 Tudjman 
meeting.''" Special Envoy Redman indicated that Lake saw no need for funher reporting on the 
matter by Ambassador Galbraith." .M that point, neither the Special Envoy nor Ambassador 
Galbraith was concerned about the lack of written reporting since both were confident that the 
response had been delivered correctly and the meeting reported accurately to the National 
Security Advisor.''' Accoioing to Special Envoy Redman, this e.xchange was his last 
involvement with regard to the "no instructions" response.""' 

By May 2. 1994, the arms pipeline had been reestablished firmly .•'' .Mso around this 

'** Redman Subcomminee Dep. at 54; Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 42. 

""* Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 56; Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 42. 

""" Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 43; Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 56, 89. 
Ambassador Redman testified that he informed Anthony Lake fully on what had transpired 
during the meeting with President Tudjman and Ambassador Galbraith including the delivery of 
the "no instructions" response and Rgdman's further clarification to the Croatian president. 
Redman Dep. at 89. ^ 

/ After receiving 
confirmation that the Croatians had accept grf ttj c proposal to transship aims to the Bosnian 
Muslims, the Balkan Task Force repcnedf^B^n the Iranian arms shipments to the region as 
well as the efforts of other countnes such as Turkey and Malaysia to send arms to the Bosnian 
Muslims. This information was disseminated periodically in the National Intelligen ce Daily 
which is delivered to Congress, the \Miite House, and other Executive Branch agencies. For a 
list of Natio nal lnt^Uigen ceJ)aily references to the arms shipments, see Appendix E of this 
report. ' 


time, the Defense Aitachc learned whal had transpired at .\nibassador Galbraith and Special 
Envoy Redmans meeting w ith President Tudjman Jrom the DCM." " Neitzke relayed to the 
Defense Attache that the question had been poscd to Ambassador Galbraith by President 
Tudjman twice in the last few days and that .\nibassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman 
had responded with "no instructions.""'" The DCM also discussed the events of the preceding 
week with thsfH^PHB^^ At the conclusion of their conversation, the DCM told the 
ilfl^flHBHfnot to record the conversation and to keep their discussion to himself '" 

The DCM ^vrongly assi-med that because .\mbassador Galbraith had been told no 
reporting was necessary, policy makers in Washington did not want to be associated with the 
policy. The DCM took his speculation to the JHH^PI^m^vho immediately disregarded the 
DCM's request and reponed the conversation to his headquarters. It is this tvpe of rumor 
mongering that contributed to the overall confusion bet\^een ihegKKttlt^^md his 
headquarters, the Cl.A and other Executive Branch agencies, and, within Embassy Zagreb, 
between the Ambassador and the i 

^ Herrick Subcommittee Dcp. at 32. 

-°* Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 32. LtCol. Herrick only remembered this conversation 
generally when he testified. Id. Although the phrases "listen to what 1 am not saying" and "\\e 
don't want to be in the position of saying no" were familiar to him, he attributed them to 
accounts he had read in newspapers of these events rather than his conversation with Neitzke at 
the time. Id. at 32-33. 

•"* Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 1 74;|(BBi|gSubcommi ttee Dep. at 42. ^ s noted 
throughout this report, much of the information contained in theMp^HliVPi^i'cp<>t^>"S 
cables is attributed to the DC^. The DCM^by^conu^t in his testimony, attributes most of his 
knowledge of events to thq 

■"' See, JIMBB^JB ^ May 5. 1 994jj— gfeubcomminee Dep. at 34. 
Neitzke did not recall admonishing tfi^lBll^hlJB^^bout making a written record of the 
conversation. Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 1 74.' 



Chapter Two 
Section Two 


Throughout the summer and fall of 1994, a series of miscommunicaiions. uninformed 
legal judgments and inaccurate reporting within the Central Intelligence Agency created 
confusion th^t rippled through the Agency. The CIA confusion had the unfortunate result of 
creating an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust directed toward Ambassador Galbraith that was 
not justified by the facts. The confusion could have been averted by better supervision within the 
Agency, improved procedu.wS lordisseminating legal opinions, and higher standards fr>' 

The most significant of the miscommunications occurred prior to and in the aftermath of 
the May 5, 1994 meeting between James Woolsey, the Director of Central Intelligence ("DCI") , 
Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott.' Several 
months later, in late September and October 1994, a second round of suspicions about the 
activities of Ambassador Galbraith and Assistant Secretary Holbrooke arose. Lapses in 
communication dating back to May and the extensive reporting of rumor and gossip along with 
intelligence by tht^jf/lfl/^^fuelcd these suspicions. On October S, Director Woolsey 
raised the suspicions brought to his anention by CIA personnel with National Security Advisor 
Anthony Lake.' 

' A brief discussion of the May 5 meeting follows below. 

' A more detailed discussion of the events surrounding the October 5 meeting can be 
found in Chapter Two, Section Eight. 



Disconnects at the CIA Leading Up to and Subsequent to the .\fay 5 Meeting. 

The CIA was informed fully that the Croatian Government was seeking the United States 
view toward Croatia allowing weapons to be transshipped en route to Bosnia. On April 29. 
1994. Ambassador Galbraith sent a cable to Washington reporting on his April 28 meeting with 
President Tudjman. The cable recounted that the Ambassador told President Tudjman that he 
had "no instructions" on the issue of Croatia allow ing arms to transit Croatia en route to Bosnia.' 
The CIA received a copy of this cable which was read by^|H0BBMBk/the Chief of the 
Interagency Balkan Task Force (" the Chief IBTF"), among other^ 

Ambassador Galbraith s Request to '^'^MdBlBBiB'L/ ^ 

Ambassador Galbraith discussed the maner with theMBBB WBy after receiving word 
from Special Envoy Redman that the deliver, of the "no instructions" response had been 
reponed to the Washington policy makers. As a general rule. th^BmHH^^houId not 
be used to transmit policy.' In this case, however, the prior use of theABIHHMo convey 

* U.S. Department of State Cable, April 29, 1994. Ambassador Galbraith mistakenly 
understood his no instructions from the State Department to mean that the State Department had 
not yet formulated a response to the Tudjman question. Accordingly, Galbraith was seeking 
further instructions in the April 29 cable. 

■* Al early stages of the inquiry, the Chief of the Balkan Task force did not contirm this. 
At a later stage of the inquiry, the CIA produced a memorandum for the record by Chief/TBTF 
which confirmed tha ^Jichad received the Arn bassador's cable and that he had connected it with 
thHatercable by the^0BHH|BHBy However, there is no indication that^B^ 
^^BPB niade his sup e^grs aware thatj Ke Ambassador had describe^ Ms "no instructions" 
response not only to th^^^BBBH^^but directly, in writing, tq^^^eadquarters. Such 
informatioii would have demonstrated that aian early stage, the Ambassador was evidently 
willing to keep the CIA fully informed.^l^^^^ 

' In the wake of Iran-contra CIAflHMBBiMlmMii^Aiave been instructed that 
their role is one of intelligence gathering and that if any activity iKey undertake could influence 
world events, they are to seek guidance from headquarters. Woolsey HPSCI Deposition at 15; 
Select Subcommittee Deposition of Janet Andres. Sept. 30. 1996, at 23 (hereinafter "Andres 



policy, the good relationship between thq 

^^^^^^^^^^■■■■■■mmilJJIPBHlfl^^ led the to 

believe that the^flmMHlBhl^hannel uas an appropriate a\enuc for them to \erify L'nited 
States policy.'' The Croatians also believed, because of the intimacy of the United States - 

Croatian^9^9r^'3ii<>"^>iiP' that the/jm^BBl^would be knowledgeable about any policy 
change or directive.'' 

Subcommittee Dep.") 

' Neiuke Subcommittee Dep. at 161. Janet Andres, who served as DCl Woolsey's 
executive assistant and one of the first people to brief the DC! on the Embassy Zagrebputters, 
explai ppd that this is exactly the type of scenario in which an ambassador jnay use iu£jBHiB 
■■■^to convey a policy message. "[YJou do have cases where the^l^as special channels 
that are better than the Ambassador because of the ts^itional relationships and personalities 
involved." Andres Subcommittee Dep. at 24.^^;^^^ 

'Id. I 

' The previous week, the^flBSHBI^had informed Ambassador Galbraith of Miro 
Tudjman's knowledge of the impending request for the United States position on the Croatian 
arms transshipments. See supia, pages 121-122 (discussing the/gp— B^discussion 
\yith Ambassador Galbraith upon his return to the embassy).^J|^^> 



'J The miscommunication becomes even more pronounced if it affects 
negatively the accuracy of information coming back through thepimMf channels to 
headquarters, as clearly was the case at Embassy Zagreb." C^^ 

To assure that President Tudjman was not confused bv the incorrect statement provided 
pBB ^^HUmi^BBMlfcJ Ambassador Galbraith asked the^pmMli^B|to contact 
/JHBBV^P^and inform him that a "no instructions" response had been delivered toH||^BK 
by the United States on April 2S and April 29, 1994.'- The J^^BMBl^e fused the request 
pending written instructions from Washington. WTien the ambassador explained that the 
instructions had been passed to him orally, thenf/fH^U^gJagain refused the request. After 
^hat the^lBIHIII^/characterized as a heated discussion, he reported the conversation to 
/^yheadq uarters and requested guidance. Th^4MHHito(>nformed headquarters that 
unless he heard otherwise, he would assume that the United States would not impede the arms 
flow,'" although he reiterated his request for clarification on this point^^^J^^* 

The Majority has suted that the CIA was kept in the dark about Department of State 
policy making. The testimony and reporting by theJUMJ^ ^p is incontrovertible evidence 
that the^|||was informed fully and in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, theMp 

'*" Andres Subcommittee Dcp. at 25. 

" Id. Andres explained that if the information coming through the channels is not 
accurate, it gives the wrong impression in "Washington" of what is occurring in the field and 
guidance cannot be developed accurately. Id. 

May 4. 1994 




chose neither to accept the truth nor to act upon it. 

As demonstrated by subsequent events, the characterization of events by ihe^ 
not only caused concern within the CIA. hut contnbuied to the significant 
miscommunication between the Agency and the Department of State. Thd 
repeatedly referred to a United States agreement not to impede the arms flow. This reporting 
strongly suggested to the CIA that Ambassador Galbraith used similar terminology in his 
meetings with President Tudjman. In fact, the .■\mbassador carefully and clearly a\ oided any 
kind of agreement with the Croatian president and certainly avoided any agreement not to 
impede the arms flow. The critical aspect of the "no instructions" response was its tot:.', 
avoidance on the part of the United States to agree to do anything. 

Central Intelligence Agency Concern about Covert Activity. 

On May 5. 1994. they^^BBHIto/sent a reporting cable detailing his discussions with 
.Ambassador Galbraith regarding the no instructions response to President Tudjman. This cable 
became the focal point of concern surrounding this issue among Central Intelligence Agency 
senior staff. Two facets of this cable caused some CIA officials to question activities occurring 
in Zagreb. The firsi and most alarming aspect was the request of the Ambassador to thq(WBB^ 
^^MHto convey a message througlY<^B»Ehannels. The overall involvement of the Iranians in 
the anns shipments also troubled some CIA officers given Iran's turbulent history with the 
United States and the CIA.'' The Director of the CIA. however, did not have any particular 

" See, e^. Select Subcomminee Deposition ofgl^B— fcgjAu^ 16, 1996, at 58 
(noting the implications of Iranian weapons shipments) (hereinafter '/BBH^ubcommittee 
Dep.**); Select Subcommittee Deposition of James Woolsey, Sept. 13, 1996, at 9 (explaining that 
the United States had a policy of containing Iran because of hostility to the United States and 



concern about the Ambassador's diplomatic exchange « ith the Croatian President^ 

The primar\ concern of th<^^|MlB^BM^\vas the pohcy which he had been asked to 
convey to th^jipiBBHBPby the Ambassador. Th<]|I^^BlMHfetf^e fused to accept the 
legitimacy of a response that might lead to increased Iranian amis shipments absent something in 
writing from headquarters or another executive agency.'" Thus ihaW^I^HB^epeatediy 
asked for confimtation from headquarters that the United States policy was in fact what 
Ambassador Galbraith had told him. 

The cable troubled^H^^^HHMy the Deputy Chief of the^^B^^^BIlf within 

'Given his request for guidance 
and her own alami/^^p^^|^BB[ informed her supervisors m theJ0|^^HIHmf||f of 
the matter in one of the daily meetings the branch held to discuss problems or issues of 
importance." The branch decided to bring the matter to the attention of the Director of Central 
Intelligence so that he could address what the Operations Directorate saw as a misuse of the 

channel. ^ Thus, theJ^^^mHHpj^Uiursued the procedural issue of the use of 
thei^^^Mchaiuiel while the^^femiMM^was trying to determine the accuracy of the 

other allies) (hereinafter "'Woolsey Subcommittee Dep.") 

" Th qfJMI^ fcMiBifcfexplained in his cable that he was certain once the Iranian 
involvement was exposedThe United States would have halted the proposed shipments and he 
therefore was shocked by Ambassador Galbraith's assertion that this was ptflicy. 

'' One ofa^HPI^feB^Wresponsibilities was toreview the(^^H 
[and respond to them as necessary or requested^**^-^ 

Subcommittee Dep. at 49 




message he had been asked to convey lo hi&flBMblTice? 

/^^^|mpSM)repared a memorandum of talking points for the Director of Central 
Intelligence lo use in his weekly mcetini! with the Secretar> of State**^ The talkmg pomts did not 
focus on the "no instructions" position that Ambassador Galbraith had conveyed to the 
Croatians, but rather the notion that the Ambassador had attempted to convey that position 
through thej|jpBB|MH|HHU|J|||received expedited approval of her talking points 
and had them delivered to the DCI shortly before his meeting with the Secretary of State. The 
basis for the extreme concern felt by||P[[0H|M^^ as her belief that Ambassador Galbraith 
sought to involve th e^^M UMjIy n an idea, first brought to her anention on April 20. ^594 
by th^^^B^^BBft'iat she believed amounted to covert action. The prospect of CI.\ 
involvement in a scenano reminiscent of the Iran-contra affair was particularly troubling to her^^j^^ 

The Director of Central Intelligence was briefed on the matter by the Deputy Director of 
Operations ("DDO") and his executive assistant sometime on May 4 or May 5. 1994."' Around 
the time he was briefed, the talking points and underlying cables thav^BlMHHB^prepared 
were made available to him." At some point either on May 4 or the morning of May 5, 1994, as 
the Director learned of the issue from his Director of Operations, Doug MacEachin - the Director 

^J^lNormally. talking points for the Director's meetings with the Secretary would be 
prepared ana placed in a briefing binder in advance of his meeting. Id. at 51. Iiuhis instance, 
the deci sion to bring the matter to the Secretary's attention occurred rapidly and^^PB^^ 
^■■Mdraftedjb^ talkingppin^s quickly so that they could be included in the Director's 
briefing papers.jtt|at SO. ^r'^^H^ 

''^■at 12. A notation on the talking points prepared b>nHiiBl^BHHndicates that 
the Directgr^as "sei^d with" the maner as of May 5, 1994. CLAtalking Points, May 5, 1994, 

Woolsey Subcommittee Dep. at 13. 



of the Intelligence Directorate ("DDI") - also became aware olthc cable traffic from ih ^WBi 
^B^I^^H^PY Either^^^^mH^the head of the Balkan Task Force, or John Gannon, 
the Director of the Office of European .Affairs, orally brieted MacEachin about the Zagreb 
exchanges.'' .MacEachin learned that, based on '-he||mi|^Bp(cable. there was ereat 
concern that the ambassador had requested <h<^^H|HHHf'*^ facilitate arms shipments. '^3|^L 

MacEachin did not see the underlying cables and was given only enough information to 
know that the DCI intended to raise the matter with Secretary' Christopher at their May 5. 1994 
weekly meeting."" The Cl.A concerns were based on imprecise characterizations ofthe j<— ^ 
■■■III cables and did not reflect thej(|^^BH^B(actual concerns. As a result, CIA 
Washington and^l^^MHb^egan to work at cross purposes w iih regard to understanding the 
"no instructions" policy!^5i^[^^. 

On May S. Q\.\ headquarters cabled th^H^HB^B/with an interim response to his 
request. The cable informed the {^M ^^MM [ that the DCI was seeking clarification from the 
NSC, and that the^|MpBlilB|hphould not broach the arms issue u iiMHHIBftn'cn'iing 
the outcome of the DCI's meeting. The interim response did not indicate what clarification the 
CIA was seeking; had it done so, much of the confusion that resulted later may have been 

"' Select Subcommittee Deposition of Douglas MacEachin. Sept. 6, 1996, at 6 
(hereinafter "MacEachin Subcommittee Dep.") 

=' Id. at 8. 

__"' Id. The concern w« among the senior staff who had re\iewed the cables and talked 

"* Id. Normally, Admiral Studeman. the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, would 
attend these meetings but he was out of town. MacEachin's primary purpose at this meeting was 
to serve as a note taker so he was briefed with enough infonmation to take adequate notes at the 
meeting. Id. 




avoided ^__ 

The May 5, 1994 Meeting bctneen DCl tt'oohey and Secretary Christopher: 
Clarification Is Sought. 

On May 5. 1994. DCl Woolsey had his regularly scheduled meeting at the Department of 

State with Secretary Warren Christopher." The DCl infomied the Secretary and other 

Department personnel that the^l^^^BlHhad been asked to inform hisit^HH^^Hthai 

the United States would in effect look the other way to Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnian 

Muslims."' The DCl also informed the Secreiarv' that he had phoned .\nthony Lake and brought 

this matter to Lake's attention."" Deputy Secretary Talbott acknowledged that he had receis ed a 

telephone call fi-om Sandy Berger. Lake's deputy, informing him of the conversation Uiiii Lake 

and the DCI's concerns.'' To the DCl and his subordinates, the fact that the/ 

thought he had been requested to take direct action to facilitate the arms flow was the core issue 

to be resoiNed.' Deputy Secretary Talbott. however, focused on the substantive message that 

was being communicated and not the means of the conununication. Talbott worried, based on 

"' Also present at the meeting was MacEachin, Deputy Secretary Strobe Talbott, and 
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research, Philip Wilcox. Id. at 5; Select 
Subcommittee Interview of Philip Wilcox, Aug. 14, 1996, at 1 (hereinafter "Wilcox 
Subcommittee Int."). 

"' MacEachin Subcommittee Dep. at 13; Memorandum for the Record, May 5, 1994 (D. 
MacEachin, drafter). 

^ Id. at I S. As the CIA worked on a response to thelflpi^BBH^ request for 
guidance, an interim cable was sent infomiing him that the maner had beenjake n to th e Director 
and a recommendation made that he discuss the issue with Anthony Lakey 
^■■■■P^^HBHHMay S, 1994 (TS). It is likely that this telephone call occurred as a 
result of that recommendation^^^^\ 


" MacEachin Subcommittee Dep. at 14. 



the DCI's recount of what the^^^BHSMl^ad reported, that instead of "no instructions" 
Ambassador Galbraiih had responded in some other way. Talboit therefore told the DCl that 
Ambassador Galbraith instructed on several occasions, and at least once "tartly." that he was to 
respond that he had "no instructions" to any Croat query on the subject/" Talbott told the DCI 
that he would call Ambassador Galbraith and reconfirm his instructions." Following this 
exchange, the DCI and Secretary Christopher moved on to other agenda items. 
May 5, 1994 in Zagreb. 
After a meeting with General Joulwan. the Commander of United States forces in 
Europe." the Ambassador requ -. ed a ride to the embassy from the Defense .Attache so tl. ; •■ . 
could use a secure telephone.^ Before arriving at the embassy, the two stopped at the DCM's 
home and discussed the issue of arms transshipments to the Bosnians.' Ambassador Galbraith 
and Neitzke discussed "cryptically" the "no instructions" response that had been given to 

"Id. at 17. 

" Id. at 19. 

" MacEachin Subcommittee Dep. at 18. 

" General Joulwan was responsible for the military operations within Europe while 
General Keeler, also at European Command ("EUCOM") was responsible for the diplomatic 
exchanges among the military in the region. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Deposition 
of General Wesley Clark, Juiie 24. 1996, at 27 (hereinafter "Clark SSCI Dep"). The meeting 
was to discuss Croatian intelligence information that the Defense Anache had received which 
indicated that the Serbs were planning an attack on Bosnian territory leading to the Brcko 
corridor. Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 34. 

" At this time, the residetjce had not been equipped with a secure telephone. 
Subcommittee Dep. at 1 26.^SSfc^ 

'' Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 35. 



President Tudjman." The Ambassador and the Defense Attache left Neitzke's residence for the 
embassy. The Defense Attache look the Ambassador to his office to use the secure telephone 
there while he worked on administrative matters.*"' 

On May 6, 1994.''* Vershbow telephoned Ambassador Galbraith to deteimine if there was 
any question about the "no instructions" response." Vershbow wanted to ensure that 
Ambassador Galbraith understood that the "no instructions" response was not to be embellished 
in any way.^ Ambassador Galbraith recounted his delivery of the message to, and Special 
Envoy Redman's brief exchange with. President Tudjman. At the conclusion of this retelling. 
Vershbow pronounced himself tonpletely satisfied with the .Ambassador's handling of the  
matter.*' and commented that .Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman had positioned 

''' Id. Herrick testified that the discussion was cryptic because it was believed that 
Neitzke's residence was unsecure. Id. 

" Id. at 35. 

*" Galbraith Memorandum for the File. May 6. 1994, at 1. Ambassador Galbraith testified 
that this con\ersation occurred on May 5, 1994 rather than May 6, 1994. Given the 
contemporaneous nature of the memorandum, the Minority believes the call came on May 6. 

" Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 96. According to Ambassador Galbraith's 
recollection, this call occurred prior to his discussions with Talbott. Galbraith Subcommittee 
Dep. at 44. Vershbow does not recall Talbon directing him to make the call and was uncertain 
whether it occurred prior to or after Talbon had spoken to Galbraith personally. Vershbow 
Subcommittee Dep. at 96-97. 

" Id. at 95. Galbraith recalls the conversation as more pointed. Galbraith believes that 
Vershbow telephoned initially "to rap his knuckles" and to question whether he had succinctly 
delivered the no instructions response the way it was intended by policy makers in Washington. 
Galbraith Subconunittee Dep. at 43-44. Vershbow has no recollection of being asked to 
reprimand Ambassador Galbraith for his delivery of the no instructions response. Id. at 99. 

*' Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 96; Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 44. 



ihe United States exactly where it should be." 

Prior to this conversation with Vershbow. Ambassador Galbraith did not realize that there 
was confusion in Washington concerning his "no instructions" delivery. He learned from 
Vershbow. however, that the DCI had raised the issue with Talbott and that had precipitated 
Vershbow's inquiry.'' When his conversations with Vershbow ended. Galbraith attempted to 
reach Strobe Talbott but was unable to do so. 

Deputy Secretary Talbott Contacts Ambassador Galbraith to Reiterate 
the "So Instructions" Response. 

On May 6, 1 994. Strobe Talbott telephoned .Embassador Galbraith." Talbott explained 

that his call was premised on the previous day's meeting between the Secretary and the DCI.' 

The concern expressed by the DCI that the Ambassador may have exceeded his guidance 

prompted Talbott to seek reassurance that the policy had been conveyed effectively.'* Talbott 

believed it important that the Croatiars not be left with the perception that the United States had 

given them a green or amber light on this initiative to supply arms to the Bosnians." Talbon 

recognized that the United States was in the delicate position of balancing the need to promote 

the Federation on one side and protect the allegiance among the United States allies enforcing the 

** Galbraith Memorandum to the File. May 6, 1994. at 1 . 

" Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. ai 45, 130. 

** Select Subcommittee Deposition of Strobe Talbott, Sept. 5. 1996, at 14 (hereinafter 
"Talbott Select Subcommittee Dep."). 

'"Id. at 16. 

*' Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 16-17. 

*' Galbraith Subconunittee Dep. at 47. 



arms embargo on the other.'' If the allies perceived a L'nitcd States erocn lijjht. relations would 
become complicated.'' In addition to the complications that a disclosure of a confidential 
diplomatic exchange would cause, the fact that it involved the Iranians could have promoted 
further controversy.'" 

After talking to Ambassador Galbraith. however. Talboii \\ as satisfied that the policy had 
been conveyed correctly and that Ambassador Galbraith understood there was to be no expansion 
of the pure "no instructions" guidance." Ambassador Galbraith concluded the conversation by 
asking Deputy Secretary Talbott whether or not a reporting cable should be prepared on the 
meeting.'* Talbott inform*. _ .\mbassador Galbraith that he should wait to hear from e''^--r S-andv 
Vershbow or Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Steve Oxman." At the 
conclusion of this conversation. Ambassador Galbraith was confident that the record had been set 

Following his conversation with .Ambassador Galbraith. Deputy Secretary Talbott 
contacted Deputy Assistant Secretary Vershbow." Talbott relayed to Vershbow what he and 

*° Id. at 21. Sec also Galbraith Memorandum to the File, .May 6, 1994 (discussing 
Talbott's concerns about the implications of a perceived green light). 

" Talbott Subconunince Dep. at 21. 

'- Id. at 22. 

" Talbott Subcommittee Dep. at 18. 

** Galbraith Subconunittee Dep. at SO 

" Id. at 50; Galbraith Memorandum to the File, May 6. 1994. 

'* Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 52. 

*' Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 73. 



Ambassador Galbraith had discussed earlier that day. Talbolt expressed some concern that the 
"no instructions" response had somehow gone "off track" when it was explained to Ambassador 
Galbraith by the National Security Council on April 29.'" Talbott further explained that Special 
Envoy Redman had been involved in clarifying the "no instructions" response and that 
Ambassador Galbraith had shared with President Tudjman at an earlier meeting that 
"Washington hadn't made up its mind yet" on what response to pursue." In this regard, Talbott 
expressed concern that Ambassador Galbraith and Special Envoy Redman had exceeded the pure 
"no instructions" delivery.*" Vershbow and Talbott agreed that it would be best, however, to let 
the situation stand" given thatihe essential meaning of "no instructions " had been conveyed 
correctly by the Ambassadors.'" 

Deputy Secretary Talbott then discussed the issue of a wTitten record of the events with 
Vershbow. He reiterated Ambassador Galbraith's request that the delivery of the response and 
surrounding events be memorialized."" Talbott offered the view that if such a record were made. 

'' Id. According to Vershbow "s contemporaneous notes, Jenoiuie Walker gave 
Ambassador Galbraith the "no instructions" response "exactly [as the] Secretary thought [they 
should be]" but that Tony Lake had requested the response be delivered with raised eyebrows 
and a smile. Id. Because of the NSC interpretation of the "no instructions" response, 
Ambassador Galbraith had focused President Tudjman's attention on "what he didn't say." Id. 

" Vershbow Subconunittee Dep. at 78-79. 


" Vershbow Subcomminee Dep. at 80. 

*" Seiiate_SelecLCQmmittee-onJiitelligence Hearing on U.S.ActionsL-Regarding Iranian 
Arms <;hipmpnt«i tr» Rn«;nia May 23. 1996. at 53-55 (hereinafter "Talbott SSCI Hearing"). 

*' Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 80. 



there should be only one copy in light of the matter's sensiti\ it> ." \'ershbo\s concurred in this 
assessment. Events overlook this discussion, however, and no official written record of the 
exchange was created."' Although no contemporaneous wntten record was prepared, the 
testimony of the participants strongly indicates that a written record was not rul;d out. The 
testimony also indicates that Deputy Secretary Talbott objected to a reporting cable only because 
of the inability to control distribution in an effective way. 

Ambassador Galbraith Memorializes the Croatian Inquiry. 

After .Ambassador Galbraith's discussion w ith Deputy Secretary Talbott. the Ambassador 
discussed the affair w ith the DC.M. He had not heard from Vershbow or Oxman as Deputy. 
Secretary Talbott had indicated he would.* Although it was relatively common in the context of 
Balkan diplomatic activities not to have a wrinen record of events, the .Ambassador felt that a 
record of what he believed to be a very significant event should be retained." 

** Id. at SO-81. Vershbow opined that the concern about a wTitten record stemmed from 
the potential allied reaction to the "no instructions" response. As discussed in Giapter One, 
Section Two, the allies maintained the arms embargo in theory as a way to protect their troops, 
even though throughout the course of the arms shipments they too turned a blind eye. Id. at 81. 
The delicate positions of the United States and the allies as a result of this approach to the 
embargo required a "low profile" according «.o Vershbow and Talbott to protect everyone's 

" On May 6 or 7. 1994, Strobe Talbott had a conversation with Samuel Berger, the 
Deputy National Security Advisor. According to notes made by Vershbow of the conversation 
as it was related to him by Talbott, Baser believed that a written record of evenU would be 
"dynamite." However, the prcx-ailing view still was that if a written record was made, there 
should only be one copy. Vershbow Subcommittee Dep. at 93, 95. Talbon also made reference 
to Jenonne Walker being "disciplined" t>ecause of her role in the conveyance of the no 
instructions. Id. Walker has no recollection of having e\er been disciplined because of her role 
in this matter. Walker Subcommittee Int. at 2. 

^ Galbraith Subcomminee Dep. at 50. 

* Id. at 51. 



At the DCM's suc^cslion, Ihe Ambassador wrote a memorandum to the record. The 
Ambassador was wary of the confusion in Washington over his deliver^' of the "no instructions" 
response and felt that it might be in his best inlorcsi to create a written memorandum describing 
the precise recitation of the response.''" Moreover, such a written record was not inconsistent 
with the direction of the Department which only precluded a cable report, .\mbassador Galbraith 
recounted the events surrounding his conveyance of the "no instructions" response to President 
Tudjman on April 28 and April 29. 1994, as well as the subsequent conversations he had with 
policy makers in Washington during the first week of May. Ambassador Galbraith noted that 
Vershbow believed the situation was exactly where people in Washington wanted it to be and 
that Talbott concurred that the response was conveyed accurately. 

The memorandum was signed and dated by the Ambassador and witnessed by the DCM. 
On the following day. as was his consistent pattern, the DCM told ihe/HHII^BfeiB^bout the 
Ambassador's business, in this case the content of discussions as he knew them and the content 
of Ambassador Galbraith's memorandum to the file. " TheABBBHtfHwroncurred with the 

** Id. at 52. Ambassador Galbraith anributcs the cqnfiision and concern in Washington to 
the infonnation reported to the CIA by thq^j^BBMBJ^d the CIA's subsequent 
interpretation of that information. Id. at 51, : 

m aiinouics inc c om us 

** Contrary to the allegations that Vershbow had disagreed w ith Ambassador Galbraith's 
delivery of the "no instructions" response, Vershbow testified that he came away from his 
discussions with the Ambassador feehng "satisfied that he [and Special Envoy Redman had] left 
it in the right place." Vershbow Subcomminee Dep. at 1 15. 

^ This conversjition with the DCM was giemorialized by th^4|[9HIV^M in a lengthy 
cable to headquarters.y^HHHBl^^^inHMay. 7, 1994. During his Subcommitt ee.,^ 
deposition, Neitzke waTunable to recall this pSfucul^ conversation with thq^i^HHHHWin 
any detail. Neitzke Subcomminee Dep. at I^^- r^flh^ 



Ambassador's decision lo create the memorandum. ' In their conversation, the DCM speculated 
that he thought pohcy makers in Washington were abandoning the Ambassador and the "no 
instructions" response. And. as was his consisicni pattern. th^^PH^^B^^rcported the 
speculations by the DCM. Th&ip|PliH^^also attributed to the DCM the remark that 
"Washington never intended Croatia to allow Iran to bring in so many deliveries so quickly." By 
May 7, 1994. however, only one shipment had been delivered " by the Iranians and the regular 
flight of small arms from a variety of sources had yet to begin. C^^^l^^ 

Throughout the month of May, thqV|m^Ki^^f and the DCM continued to speculate 
and comment upon the act us of the Ambassador, and theg|^HM^^^B^ontinued to repp" 
those discussions to his headquarters as if they were matters of intelligence fact-finding. The 
/^W WB^^^fcplso continued to request clear guidance from his headquarters, which did not 
materialize until November 1994 when the DCI finally visited the region. At the same time the 
DCI cautioned than^HHIB^H^HBBi^^/about reporting on their colleagues w ithin 
the embassy. This message apparently was directed toward th«|^BHBlfept Embassy 
Zagreb. DCI Woolsey's Special Assistant, Janet .\ndres. admonished th^fl^BMi^Wfor the 
rumor and conjecture contained in his cables. ' She explained to theyWBU^BBByiat such 

^' CLA headquarters had cabled thoVHHHHBBto inform him of the DCI's meeting 
with Talbott and Christopher and his discuSSttms with CSEe so he wasjware that discussions had 
occurred in Washington. Unfortunately, the advice th^^Hp0B^k|^eccived was based on 
his convolujed re porting ami the inaccurate interpretation at headquafters of that reporting. As a 
result, thcM|PM^MM^as^ltl;^per these discussions, there was no change in United States 
policy re: uieMms embargo.*^ 

vastoy^per th 

'- Neitzke Subconuninee Dcp. at 183. 

' Memorandiun to the File by theMBUBl^MNov. 1 7, 1994. This is not the first 
time that theJ^B^M ^^ ad been aomonished about his reports. In at least three cables 



reports become pan of the written record of e\cnis and if presented to Congress or another 
investigative body, would reflect an inaccurate picture of what was occurrinu at the Embassy. * 
As subsequent events demonstrate, this is exactly what happened. ^^$w^ 

A Pattern of Disconnects at the CIA. 

There were at least six major disconnects related to the delivery of the "no instructions" 
response either within the CIA or berw een it and other Executive Branch agencies. These 
miscommunications bred mistrust, suspicion, and false accusation against United States officials 
including the Ambassador. 

Disconnects Between CIA Washington and ihe/tK^I^^^/^fl^gtj C^^W 

The flrst major disconnect was betw een CIA headquarters and thefl^MIHI^ Both 
the May S Talking Points for the DCI and the oral briefrngs of the DC! and the DDl focused 
solely on one issue: the propriety and appropriateness of the request by .Ambassador Galbraith to 
the^||P^H^^}to informflP^MVPlriliH^BHWI^V^HftAbat the United 
States had "no position" on the enforcement of the arms embargo. Neither the May 5 talking 
points nor the oral briefrngs specify that the Ambassador already had conveyed the "no 
instructions" response to President Tudjman's query about the United States reaction to the 
transshipment of arms through Croatia. The May 5 talking points also give no hint that the 
Ambassador had told theJI^HHBlHBBHi^HMF'^'''^ '^° instructions" response to 

begifuiing in the first week of May the^SBHlB^was told to refrain fro m editorializingj ijid 
commenting upon the actions of others at Embassy Zagreb. Nevertheless, theHHHHm^ 
con tinue d to r^^rt the conjecture and assumptions presented to him byJhe PCM and the 
jfficer without any substantive corroborating evidence?! 




President Tudjman. nor do they mention the fact that in the face of thdWHBlBfi refusal 
to convey a message tO|MpBl|a^he Ambassador asked thlMI^^B^^o ha\ 
[ approach the Ambassador on the issue^^%fc^^^ 

Ultimately, the failure to resolve these disconnects contributed significaiitly to the 
J suspicions about the Ambassador and. subsequently, about Assistant Secretary 
Holbrooke. Based upon advice ftoni|fBBB^^^BH||^^^^^^H|M^^^^^^^^ 
■^■Iffcelieved that the "no instnictions" response was a covert action.* The DCI. in contrast. 
was concerned only that the use of the^l^gggg^^oi be used to convey policy. 
Moreover, the Director was rot m-tde aware of the fact that ihej^^^fflffjhad used the 
^HlB^HI^Hf fifteen days earlier to impart an inaccurate version of United States policy 
with respect to enforcement of the arms embargo^^i^^L 

In fact. CI.A headquarters had no interest in the response con\ eyed by the United States 
Ambassador. .As^i^ll^fe^gJtestiried: "had the .Ambassador not asked th(^B|||||[^ 
^i^Wio communicate policy to the Government of Croatia, •^ve probably wouldn't have been 
managing the Ambassador's activities at all.""' In other words, she noted, "my principal 
responsibility was making sure that CIA personnel acted appropriately," not the Ambassador's 
activities.'" ^^^^^ 

Moreover, the May 5 talking points failed to convey the nuances of what the 
Ambassador, acting on careful guidance fiom Washington, was doing by his "no instructions" 

• See subheading "Disconnecu Relating to the Law of Covert Action" in this same 

ubcomminee Dep. at 77-78. 



response. [WttK^KIKmf°^ example. \\ as not interested in the nuances of the "no 
instructions" response: "I'd like to leave this area of questioning to the diplomats, as I'm not a 
diplomat, and I have not had diplomatic training. Td like these subtleties to be explained by 
people who understand them better. . . . Its like asking somebody who is not a dentist to fill a 

Similarly, it appears that the oral briefings of the DCI and DDI omitted completely the 
actual response the Ambassador provided to the Croatian president on April 28 and 29. The DCI 
was not informed of the response by Ambassador Galbraith: "It wasn't our business to oversee 
Galbraith's communications with the Croatian Government unless he was involved in conducting • 
a covert action of some sort, and this didn't come up or wasn't really on the screen, I think, on 
May 5. We were concentrating on what he had asked theJ||liflB^ft^/ r^^^ 

Had the "no instructions" response been discussed with the DCI, he could have assuaged 

the concerns of the CIA personnel who were raising legal questions about the Ambassador's 

actions. As the DCI himself explained: 

In my judgment, very much because of President Bush's veto of the 1991 
authorization bill for intelligence and the back and forth with Congress that 
occurred in the context of that veto, traditional diplomatic communications, 
including even the suggestion of a covert action by a United States diplomat to 
another country is - does not itself constitute covert action. And certainly 
standing mute, even standing mute in such a way as to say you have ''no 
instructions," and to wink or nod or anything like that, for a diplomat, for a State 
Department ambassador, in my judgment did not then and does not now constitute 

I Subcommittee Dep. at 82. .As events unfolded, the failure I 
to be as circumspect about questions.A(law' as she was about questions'^Cdiplomacy 
and dentistry created special problems for the " ~ 

"* Woolsey Subcommittee Dep. at 16. 



covert action. 
For almost six months, the ^i^WlMg w as left in a state of ienorance. Thus, the belief held 
''y ''^^^I^Klfl^feill^Hl^^pi^ from May through November 15 that the United 
States Ambassador to Croatia was engaged in a coven acti\ ity was, in the words of the DCI. 
wrongly heldT^^^PI^^ 

Disconnect Between the Director of Central Intelligence 
and the Deputy Secretary of State. 

The second major disconnect was between the DCI and the Deputy Secretar>- of State. 
The DCI had taken up the matter of the use of th»B^|^^H^»in a telephone cai'. with 
National Security Adviser Lake, and in person at the .Vlay 5 meeting with Secretary of State 
Christopher and Deputy Secretary of State Talbott. When the DCI w as informed at the May 5 
meeting that the Ambassador had conveyed a "no instructions" response to President Tudjman 
on April 28 and 29, Director Woolsey had no concern whatsoever about the legality of 
Ambassador Galbraith's actions.^^^^^^^ 

To the DCI and his subordinates, the fact that theMMHflBfhought he had been 
requested to take direct action to faciliute the arms flow w as the core issue to be resolved." 
Deputy Secretary Talbott, however, focused on the substantive message that was being 
communicated and not the means of the communication. Based on the DCI's account of the 
report. Deputy Secretary Talbon was concerned that instead of "no 


'"Id. at 21. 

" Select Subconuninee Deposition of Douglas MacEachin, Sept. 9, 1996, at 13 
(hereinafter ""MacEachin Subconuninee Dep.'*); Memorandum for the Record, May 5, 1994 (D. 
MacEachin, drafter). 



instructions." Ambassador Galbraith had responded in some other way thai u as inconsistent w ith 

his directions from Washington. Deputy Secretary Talbou"s comments to the DCI about 

Ambassador Galbraith being told "tanly" that he was not to go beyond the "no instructions" 

response, w ere based on his niisimpression (gleaned from his conversation w ith the DCI) that 

Ambassador Galbraith had not executed his instructions properly. Deputy Secretary Talbott told 

the DCI that he would call Ambassador Galbraith and reconfirm his instructions.'' He did so and 

was reassured that Ambassador Galbraith had indeed conveyed the "no instructions" message as 

directed, i 

The DCI. a former diplc-T it, was aware of the range of diplomatically expressive 

possibilities surrounding such a response. The DCI testified that such a response "can be heard 

and communicated different ways and can arise in different circumstances inside the U.S. 

Government. . .""" He elaborated: 

[I]f they wanted, either the White House or the State Department wanted to have a new 
policy, but to have the .\mbassador communicate that policy very subtly by saying, T 
have no instructions.' wink-wink, nod-nod. that is certainly a reasonable thing to do in 
diplomacy. . . . 

[I)n the abstract, there may be some diplomatic reasons one wants to do things that way, 
and there's no - no law against it as far as I know." 

Disconnect Between the Director of Central Intelligence 
and his Subordinates. 

The third major disconnect was between the DCI and his subordinates. The DCI did not 

•= Id. at 19. 

•' Woolsey Subcommittee Dep. at 23. 

** Woolsey Subconunittee Dep. at 42. 



share the same levels of concern as did some of his subordinates about the ambassador asking 

th^fp^mUH'to convey a message througn|||p|HHHH The DCI was not at all critical 

of the Ambassador for having asked gp|HIBHHBHmi^|^ for helpTl 

I have said before, and Ibelievcthis-is the case, I don't think it was improper for [the 
Ambassador] t^^skth^HBBI^Ir^ hat he asked him. But I do believe it was quite 
proper for th^0^feifl|o turn hin) down. And had personal relations between the 
rw f) heen highly^g prdial. that conversation might have gone ver>' simply of his saying to 
th^UHHi^Bl '^3n you give me a hand. . . . ^'*^^^ 

And [upon refusal] the Ambassador could conceivably have said. "Oh. I hadn't really 
thought of that. That is really fine. Don't worry about it. 

Thaptould have been the end of it. There is notiiing wrong with ambassadors andj 
mH[ trying to get things sorted out and talking to one another. But if that had happened, 
this all may never have come up.t^^^^^^^ 

(however, was extremely alarmed by the request. The DCI's lack of 

concern was not communicated to those who had briefed the DCI in preparation for the May 5 
meeting, toflHHHH^Hlwho prepared the May 5 talking points) or to th^ 
J^BBm^^H therefore, continued to ascribe nefarious motives to the Ambassador, which 
nourished the suspicions of theJ^HH^^^J 

Disconnects at the CIA in the Aftermath of the May 5 Meeting . 

The next significant communication gap occurred after the May 5 meeting. Th^ 
^BHHHIHI^BB^BMmc to attach great significance to one particular sentence in a cable 
he received describing the May 5 meeting - yet that particular sentence was one that had not 
even come up in the meetings 

Id. at 40. 



On May 6. 1 994.pj||headquaners cabled (hejlBBHlB^regarding the DCIs 
meeting with Deputy Secretary Talbott." The DCI delegated the task of preparing the follow-up 
tnemorialization of the meeting to the DDL Lnfonunatel\. the DDI did not author the cable. The 
cable was prepared by staff of the Operations Directorate (the ••DO"), who had not been 
represented at the May 5 meeting."" The DO staff cable drew upon the DDI's memorialization of 
the meeting, out improvised an addition at the end that had neither been discussed at the May 5 
meeting nor included in the DDI's memorialization. This improvised addition was the 
prospective announcement that if any change in policy occurred, the recipients of the cable 
would be kept informedL^^^^^^ 

Policy was not discussed at the May 5 meeting. Of course, there was no reason to do so 
since the policy makers were clear on the policy, and the DCI had not raised the issue - or 
indicated in any w ay that he had a concern about policy. The DCI did not express either in the 
meeting or afterAvards any intention of keeping anyone informed of an>ihing, and the DCI had 
not even read, let alone cleared, the outgoing cable. .Accordingly, the DCI was not aware that the 
^||^iHHHB}was anticipating that he would be informed by/IH^eadquarters of the 
Admiiustration's policy regarding enforcement of the arms embargo. According to Director 

As it became clearer, later in May and into June, that the U.S. Government was 
essentially acquiescing in the shipments through, there wasn't any particular {imblem at 
that p>oint that I knew of that I had to solv e^ith respect to the^PBriHH^So 
basically I don't think I thought about th^BBBHBj^hat much late in May. early in 

•* MacEachin Subconuninee Dep. at 78. 
•' Id. at 76-77. 



however, was consumed w ith worry about 
policy. IW^headquaners led him to believe that the United States polic\ w as to enforce the 
arms embargo against third parties. .Embassador Galbraiih told him the Lnited States policy 
was to neither to object nor to support the shipments of arms to Bosnia bv third parties. The 

/^■■■■■Mbelieved JpB^eadquarters. He therefore concluded that at the very least, the 
Ambassador was not being truthful and perhaps, the Ambassador was acting illegally. The, 

^^H|^|l report is notable both for expressing his suspicions and for seeking fiilfillment of the 
promise made in the May .able that he would be kept informed of policy changes. Th 
^^imi^estified that: "w hat was conveyed to me was that . . . they would inform me when 
there was a policy change. . . .[T]he definitive line was the bottom paragraph, which was there 
was no change in policy. We will inform you when there is. That was that 


Disconnects Relating to the Law of Coven Aaion. 

A fifth miscoimnunication occurred regarding the legal interpretation of the 
Ambassador's activities.flHHHHHI^(was not a lawyer, but she rendered a legal opiiiion to 
thejjpiHHH^VKnat assistance from third countries to Bosnia through Croatia would 
constitute a covert action. This incorrect legal advice ultimately led th^fl^HIB^fto 
conclude that the "no instructions" response suggested a covert action was underway. 

In depositionspBMMHHBBi^(admitted, "[h]a\ing refireshed my recollection, I can say 

Woolsey Subcommittee Dep. 

^elect Subcommittee Deposition offl|^HiH0lAug. 9, 1996. at 41 (hereinafter 
ubcommittee Dep."). ^j^) 



ihat there is no evidence on this cable that I consulted \v ith a leeal officer."' She did not consult 
with anyone from the CIA General Counsel's oftlcc about legal matters. As previously quoted. 
the DC!, upon receiving an opinion from the General Counsels office regarding President 
Bush's veto of the 1991 Intelligence .Authorization .Act. fully understood that deliver)' of the "no 
instructions" response to the Goveminent of Croatia was not a covert action. In fact, the DCI 
testified that he "was certainly not under the impression in early May that silence on part of an 
American diplomat, however, whatever body language was put with that silence, or saying 1 
have no instructions,' would constitute covert action, even though I hadn't at that point focused 
on the '9 1 veto.""' C^^ii^- - 

Unfonunately, thejHHHBHHI^HIii^BH^^^^ '^^ '° believ^flHHHI [ 
analysis that a covert action had, at the very least, been considered. If she had not rendered legal 
advice, or if the advice had been corrected, the ■^■■BpH might ha\e refrained from 
reporting con\ ersations and incidents that he believed w ere suspicious. .After receiving a report 
about the May S meeting, theM||||||mm[^"saw that Iranian aims were flowing, so that told 
me something had happened. Of course, I knew something had happened. The question was 
whether. . . .it was a potential illegality, based on previous guidance."*' The "previous guidance" 
to which thqUBMMBIPy^fc"^*^ ^'^ '^^ inaccurate legal guidance provided in 
I cables. 


ISubcommittee Dep. at 40 
" Woolsey Subcommittee Dep. at 2 1 
'"•^^"'Subcomminee at 42 



Leaving //li'jHHBHBV/'" fl>^ Dark. 

The CIA missed another opponunity lo infonu ihe^HI^^Bmfabout the status of 

United States policy on the amis embargo after a May 20. 1994 meeting at w hich the DCI 

learned that United States policy was not to enforce the arms embargo against Bosnia. 

There was a meeting sometime in May. I believe. . . . Apparently there was a meeting in 
which the principals discussed in some fashion whether to press the Croatians to stop 
deliveries from Iran, and that discussion would seem to suggest that we were not at that 
time pressing the Cioatians to stop deliveries. 

So probably . . . that could well have been one of the factors that led me. indeed all of us 
at the Agency, to believe that the policy of the embargo against Iran was not at that time 
being pressed or really enforced by the United States.'" 

Unfortunately, not "all" of the individuals at the Cl.A knew this to be the United States policy. 

Th^^P^^^HH^^mH^fwas informed for more months 

Thus. the^^m^^mmi^milllHsuspicions in the aftermath of May 5 

appear to have resulted from his multiple handicaps and confusions. He had been misled about 

the law by his immediate superior at headquarters. Neither the fact, nor the nuances, of the 

Ambassador's '"no instructions" response had been communicated to the DCI for clarification 

with the State Department. Most important, the guidance cabled back led th< 

anticipate getting further information on something which the DCI did not intend to provide 

Summer 1994 at the CIA. 

continued to harbor unfounded suspicions about 

" Woolsey Subcommittee Dep. at 26-27; An NSC list of documents briefed to 
Subcommittee staff lists a May 20 principals meeting. (This list was prepared for the Select 
Subcommittee by members of the NSC.) In all likelihood, a representative from the Department 
of Defense as well as of the CIA ^as at that meeting. 



the Ambassador's actions on the basis of these communications disconnects. In Washington, 
during that summer of 1994. discussion of Bosnia policy shifted to Capitol Hill, where the 
Congress debated and subsequently adopted legislation regarding the embargo." As the 
DCl testified: "The events of early May were, for all practical purposes. ! think, ovenaken by the 
passage of Nunn-Mitchell."" The Deputy branch chief also understood that "Nunn-Mitchell 
prohibited, as far as I understand it, enforcement of the arms embargo against the Bosnians." 
including weapons from Iran.*"' 

The degree to which the^HI^HB||f was either misinfonned or not informed about 
the facts, the policy and the law undoubtedly contributed to the quality of his reporting. As 
discussed elsewhere, the lack of guidance provided to him and the tendency of both thq 
VHHand the Deputy Chief of Mission to rely upon rumor and gossip in addition to intelligence 
was an unfortunate combination. Clearly, CIA headquarters must devote more attention to the 
dissemination of legal adv ice and to the need to respond to requests for guidance from the field. 
The reporting from Zagreb came up through CIA headquarters to the DCIs Executive Assistant, 
who explained: "I thought there were grave questions about whether he was an accurate reporter 

of what was actually going on H«BHi^^^BHBHimBpv'as not one of the 

old hands, put it that way. The smaller stations, they tended to be younger ofRcers with less 
experience.**' The DCI's Executive Assistant further explained: 

** See the separate section on Congressional action: Chapter One. Section Three. 
'* Woolsey Subcomminee Dep. at 7 1 . 
*7Mp^BlSubcomminee Dep. at 71. 
*' Andres Subcommittee Dep. at 25. 



one of my concerns. . . .[about i]nromiation coming back ihrough iratfic from ^^^i^tl 
back to Washington [was] that it may not accurately reflect what really was going on so 
[it) was creating t^e^Long impression about what «as going on and because -- again. 1 
did not know th^§JI|personally. but just the tone of some of the communications 
suggested to me that he might not be. have the besi^udgmeni and be the most solid 
person. So that was certainly a concern.^ 




Chapter Two 
Section Three 


The Department of Defense generally, and the defense attaches in Embassy Zagreb 
particularly, dealt with delivery of the "no instructions" response in a far more restrained way. In 
so doing, they avoided the confusion and misinformation which marked the Central Intelligence 
Agency handling of the matter. In large part, this was due to strict adherence to reporting only 
intelligence and not rumor and £'i'^ip, to accepting the fact that policy making is the bailiwick of 
the other Federal agencies; to a general understanding of the law; and perhaps most important to 
a willingness to accept the word of colleagues over those of foreign officials and intelligence 

Although Department of Defense personnel did not participate in the formation of the "no 
instructions" response to the Croatians,' the Department did receive information regarding the 
events leading up to and following Ambassador Galbraith's conveyance of the response to 
President Tudjman on April 28 and April 29, 1994. Whereas thellHHBIH refused to 
acknowledge delivery of the response or accept its consequences, the Defense Attache continued 
to perform his duties and avoided rqwrting on embassy personnel and speculating about their 

Neither the Defense Attache nor his superiors at the Department of Defense sought to 
thwart the consequences of that response, or believed that the role in delivering the response by 

' Select Subcommittee Deposition of Peter Tamoff, Sept. 13. 1996, at 53 (hereinafter 
Tamoff Subconunittee Dcp."). 



Ambassador Galbraith or any other United States official suggested a coved action without the 
requisite findings. In fact, when presented with allegations of possible United States covert 
activity. Department of Defense personnel repeatedly denied such allegations and reported as 
such through their respective channels.* 

Information Available to the Department of Defense. 

The Department of Defense was privy to the same intelligence that was available to the 
other executive branch agencies during the Spring of 1994. Cable traffic J|Pi||^pnd 
intelligence reports were created by or provided to the Department of Defense on a routine basis.' 
To deal with the constantly changing situation in the Balkans, the Department of Defense created 
the Bosnian Task Force within the Secretary's office. The Defense Department would receive 

' Accusations of possible United States covert activity arose in a variety of circumstances. 
The Defense Attache in Paris routinely heard allegations that the United States was conducting 
all types of covert activities. General Rose, the B ntjsh comqi ander of UNPROFOR also heard 
such rumours which he passed on to his AmericaigMH||^uiaison. The Defense Attache in 
Zagreb also received intelligence reports of alleged United States activity. There were also 
repeated sightings of "American military personnel" training the Bosnian Muslims which turned 
out to be American mercenaries unassociated in any way with the United States government or 
military personnel stationed in the region. In each of these cases. Department of Defense 
personnel denied the mmouis and requested specific evidence to corroborate the claims; none 
was ever forthcoming^N^^^^ 

' In addition to cable traflic provided by the defense attaches and military conmiands 
around the world, the Defense Department received intelligence from such sources as the 
Department of State (Secretary's Morning Summaries), the Central Intelligence Agency 
( National Tntellig enrj! Daily, Balkan Task Force and NESA reports), and the National Security 
Council (through Principal's Meetings and NSC summaries). The Department of Defense also 
provided its own intelligence assessments such as the D efense Intelligence Report and briefings 
to other Executive Branch agencies. 



information directly from the region from U.S. Special Envoy Charles Redman who made it a 
point to contact the Department of Defense about matters whenever possible.' 

In light of the available information, the Department of Defense was fully capable of 
assessing the situation in the region and evaluating a potential threat to United States troops 
serving there.' The Department used this information to formulate its policies with regard to 
UNPROFOR, participation in Operations Deny Flight and Sharp Guard, and the coordination of 
humanitarian aid air drops. The Department of Defense also used this vast array of information 
to prepare the further deployment of United States troops to the area in the event peace should oe 
established in the region or in the event that UNPROFOR should be forced to withdraw. 

The general availability of information about the region allowed Department of Defense 
personnel to keep fully informed about attempts by third countries to circumvent the arms 
embargo and supply the Bosnian Muslims. The Department of Defense, through a variety of 
intelligence sources, also knew that the Iranians were eager to aid the Bosnian Muslims in order 
to increase their stature within the Islamic community and within Bosnia. 

* Select Subcommittee Deposition of Charles Redman, Aug. 27, 19%, at 6 (hereinafter 
"Redman Subcommittee Dep.**). Ambassador Redman would speak generally with Deputy 
Assistant Secretary Joe Kruzel or Under Secretary Walt Slocombe. Id. Contact with these 
gentleman would ensure that the Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would 
be apprised of any new developments. 

' Prior to the deployment of IFOR, the United States had approximately 300 service 
personnel serving in various edacities in Croatia. 



The Department of Defense Learns of the April Inquiries. 

The Defense Attache at Embassy Zagreb was one of the first United States officials to be 
contacted by the Croatians regarding the reestablishment of the formal pipeline." The Defense 
Attache reported in a cable dated April 25, 1994, an April 18, 1994 conversation he had with 
Defense Minister Susak. The Defense Attache reported in detail what Defense Minister Susak 
had told him and that Susak was seeking the United States position on the resumption of the 
formal pipeline. The Defense Minister needed a response in order to lay to rest the 1992 
demarche issued to Croatia by the United States regarding an Iranian arms flight.' The u-'fense' 
Attache reported further that the Croatians and Bosnians had been discussing this matter for quite 
some time, and the establishment of the Federation was seen by the two parties as the necessary 
catalyst for the resumption of the arms pipeline. The Defense Attache also commented that 
despite Defense Minister Susak's interest in the United States position, the Croatians were very 
likely to restart the formal pipeline even without United States acquiescence.' The Majority has 
suggested that Ambassador Galbraith put together the pipeline. The Defense Attache reporting 
demonstrates that this suspicion is unfounded. 

* For a complete discussion of the Defense Attache's contacts with Croatian officials, see 
Chapter Two, Section One. 

^ Department of Defense Cable,J^IHBHH||BApr. 25, 1994. ^fl 

• Id. The Defense Attache reported that since Federation Ulks on March 12, 1994, the 
Croatians and Bosnians had been discussing the resumption of the formal arms pipeline. Of 
initial importance to the Bosnians was the transshipment of materiel that had been stockpiled by 
Croatia during the hostilities that had been intended for the Bosnians. Id. These would be the 
first shipments through the reestablished pipeline. 



After the No Instructions Response: The Department of Defense Changes Nothing. 

The Defense Attache informed Ambassador Galbraith about the Susak meeting and was 
generally aware that the Ambassador was seeking guidance to respond to the Croatian request.' 
Unlikg^pp^ersonnel who reported on such policy matters and other intra-embassy 
conversations, the Defense Attache did not prepare reports on these discussions or the 
Ambassador's diplomatic activities." Through intelligence reporting and other sources, 
however, the Department of Defense became aware that the Croatians had decided to proceed 
with the reestablishment of the p-peline. (^^^i^^^ 

In early May 1994, Secretary of Defense Perry asked about the amount of weapons that 
would be arriving in the region and the extent to which the allies were aware of the shipments," 
based on reporting he received on Iranian arms shipments from the Defense Attache Zagreb.'^ 
Secretary Perry never raised the diplomatic issue with the Central Intelligence Agency" or any 

' Select Subcommittee Deposition of LtCol. Richard Herrick, Aug. 20, 1996, at 19, 25 
(hereinafter "Herrick Subcommittee Dep."). 

" Id. at 33. The Defense Attache explained that the circumstance surrounding the "no 
instructions'' response were "purely . . . political" and not something he would report through his 
channels. Id. 

" Herrick Subconunittee Dq>. at 42. 

" Select Subcommittee Deposition of James Woolsey, Sept 13, 1996, at 5-7 (hereinafter 
"Woolsey Subconunittee Dep.'^. The DCI had no recollection of discussing this mattCTjt alj^ 
with the Secretary. Id. at 5. The Defense Attache recalls, however, being told by the/_ 
IHl[||that DCI Woolsey had discussed the matter with Perry. Id. at 39-40. Because the 
Defense Attache understood the "no instructions'* response to be a policy matter, and he had 
received no inquires about it from his headquarters, he assumed that Secretary ^etiy was well 
informed and there was no need for him to be further involved. Id. 


it Secretary Petiy \ 


other Executive Branch agency.''' Nor did Secretar>- Perry ever raise concerns that the response 
amounted to a covert action.'^ The IMWBBBBf speculated that the failure by the Defense 
Attache and the Department of Defense to share in his concern about a possible covert action 
reflected a lack of knowledge. He reported on May 12, 1994 that the Department of Defense had 
contacted the Defense Attache regarding the anms shipments," and speculated that the 
Department of Defense was "in the dark."" The speculation was not based on any contacts with 
the Department and contradicted his own earlier reporting.' 

iiaiion was noi os 

TheJfK^^^K/ffiepom Department of Defense "Concern. " 

Although the Minority found no evidence in the thousands of pages of documents 
provided by the Department of Defense to suggest concern about the United States response to 
Croatia's reestablishment of the arms pipeline, thap|^HHHM'°°^ '^ "P*^i^ himself to 
continue reporting throughout the summer 1994 that the Department of Defense was concerned 

" Secretary Perry could have raised the issue in a Principal's Meeting at the National 
Security Council on May 20, 1995. At that meeting the question was raised if anything should 
be done about the Iranian arms shipments but the topic w asjabled and n^jy brought up again. If 
the Secretary had as much concern about the matter as the^fHHB^Hpntimated, this would 
have been the most opportune time to Fo^se the matter. It is also ofnotetfiat the DCI failed to 
raise the matter at that meeting. ^«^^^) 

" Woolsey Subcommittee Dep. at 7. 

lay 12. 1994. 


" When reporting to head quaqers earlier in t he week regarding what he believed to be 
happening at Embassy Zagreb, thei|[|HBHmBiioted that the Defense Attache had reported 
his conversations with Susak through his channels.*^ 



about this policy and its results. In his cables. th^B^Bimw reported general comments 
made to and by other United States oflicials regarding the Department of Defense in a way that 
made it appear that the Department of Defense, like the CIA, disagreed with the United States 
position in the region. This is simply not true. f_^^Ti n _ 

For instance, thejBHBBBIBf reported extensively on meetings among Embassy 
officials prior to a summer visit by Secretary of Defense Peny to the region. According to the 
/■■■■■^Hhe received a telephone call from the Department of Defense inquiring about 
the number of arms shipments the Bosnians were leceiving and the frequency of those 
deliveries.'* TheJBHBHI^BJnoted that this was an unusual request which confirmed his 
speculation that the Department did not know what was going on in the region. Actually, 
Embassy Zagreb was the premier source for intelligence on these shipments and given that they 
did impact on the military situation in the region, it would be natural for the Department to want 
the most current information prior to the Secretary's trip^^^^l^ 

The^^HIHIJlBf also recalls that the arms shipments might be raised by Defense 
Minister Susak in his meetings with Secretary Perry . This issue was addressed by the Defense 
Attache in a meeting with th^HpmHHW^^ ^^ Ambassador prior to the Secretary's 
arrival.'" Th&plHi^|Bputifully reported this conversation, as still more proof that the 
Defense Department was in the dark on matters and that the Ambassador was preventing the 
Defense Attache from responding. In fact, the Ambassador offered to discuss the shipments with 

!; Select SubcommittetL^epos^tion of^PHHHIIf Aug. 9, 1996. at 76 (hereinafter 
Subcotimiittee Dep."). 

" Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 39. 



Secretary Perry personally which is hardly indicative of a desire to keep matters from the 
Department of Defense.^C^^^ 

Of course the Department of Defense would be concerned about any arms shipments 
reaching the region and their possible impact on the war and United States personnel in the 
region. This concern does rot translate, however, into a concern about the April 1991 response. 
In at least three cables during the summer 1994, the|PMHPBI^ppressed the view that the 
Department of Defense did not know what United States policy in the region was. although he 
had absolutely no first hand evidence that this was the case. L. — ' /"■* 

Furthermore, even if the Department of Defense was unaware of the policy response, it 
was not the responsibility of theflHBHHMJto make an issue of something that the 
Department of Defense had not chosen to raise on its own. This type of second-hand reporting 
fueled the erroneous speculation at the CIA that unfounded covert activities were occurring 
without consulting the CIA or the Department of Defense; speculation which ultimately led to 
the lOB investigation and the establishment of this Select Subcommitt^ 

" ThMlpMl^^attributes a statement to the Ambassador that he wished the CIA 
and DOD would get on board with the policy in the region. The Ambassador has no recollection 
of this comment nor does the Defense Attache, Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 45, but if the 
Ambassador did make the comment, it would suggest that the Ambassador did M^'^rttok^^ 
matters from these agencies. He repeatedly discussed ongoing events with the'^PHMH^i 
who reported virtually everything that was said to him, and he discussed matters with the 
Defense Attache w hgjbad first hand inv olvement in the earlier April exchanges as well. No 
where except in the]flBBBBHRcomments is there a suggestion that the Dq>aitment of 
Defense was not awarTgenerally of events as they unfolded or that it was overly concerned about 

^^ 191 


Rumors thai the United Stales IVas Iin-olved in Covert Action. 

Throughout the time in which the United States was involved actively in the Balkan 
crisis, allegations of covert action to ann the Bosnian Muslims emerged." The allegations varied 
from air drops of weapons and uniforms to personnel training; none of there allegations were 
credible. Department of Defense personnel often encountered these allegations and always 
denied their validity." It is ironic that while theipHlBHH^^ asserting that the 
Department of Defense also suspected that covert activity was occurring in the region, the 
Department of Defense was doing everything it could to dissuade such thinking. General Vesie> 
Clark, for example, who was responsible for the formulation and coordination of all policy for 
the Department of Defense, patently denied that the United States could be involved in such 
activity." Within the Department, even those who disagreed with the United States Government 
view of the Bosnian Muslims as the wars' primary victims did not believe that the United States 
was involved in covert activity." 

" Allegations of United States covert activity most frequently appeared in the European 
press. In May 1994, I^ Canard repotted that the United Sutes had been conducting 
night air drops to the Bosnian Muslims and that French troops had "closed their eyes" to such 
activity because it was so limited. No such activity occurred, however, the only air drops 
conducted by the United States being humanitarian aid relief coordinated within the international 

" SSa Deposition of Gen. Wesley Qark, June 24, 19%, at 34-35. 

" LtCol. John Sray served as G-2 to General Rose the UNPROFOR commander in 1994. 
iMthough Sray believed that the United States favored the Bosnian Muslims, he did not believe 



Thus, the Department of Defense did not take an active role in the diplomatic exchange in 
April 1994, nor set out on a course to undermine the response or the policy makers who 
instituted it. Where there were legitimate questions about weapons shipments or the level of 
allied awareness of the shipments, those questions were raised with those most knowledgeable; 
namely thefl^lV^BHHHH^^^pwhose intelligence reporting on the arms 
deliveries into Bosnia was extensive and relied upon heavily. Unlike the CIA, the Department of 
Defense did not undertake to report on second and third hand conversations or speculation to 
imply that covert activity was occurring in the region. The Department of Defense went about 
fulfilling its mandate of collecting intelligence and providing troop support and security to the 

that favoritism extended to covert activity. Further, he and General Rose, who is British, did 
whatever they could to dispel such rumors when they arose. Select Subcommittee Dep. of LtCol. 
John Sray, Aug. 29, 1996, at 15-16 (hereinafter "Sray Subcommittee Dep."). 



Chapter Two 
Section Four 


The overriding objective on the ground in Bosnia in 1994 and throughout most of the war 
was to provide food, clothing and medical supplies to the Bosnians. The primary means of 
delivering these supplies was relief convoys. The convoys numbered in the thousands and were 
often stopped by Bosnian Croats to harass the Muslims. Often, the office of the United Nations 
High Commissioner on Refugees which administered the United Nations convoy relief operation 
would contact United States Government officials for assistance in gaining the release of 
detained convoys. On many occasions. United States officials would intercede to expedite the 
progress of these convoys. Intelligence and other sources raised suspicions about whether some 
relief convoys may have carried weapons in addition to humanitarian supplies. The Minority 
believes that some convoys did carry weapons, but found no evidence to suggest that any United 
States Government official knowingly assisted in the relief of such a convoy. 

On May 13, 1994 The Washington Pnst published two front page stories related to 
Bosnia.' The first recounted the Senate's two narrow votes to unilaterally and multilaterally lift 
the embargo against the Bosnian Muslims. The second story rqwrted details of the first delivery 
of an Iranian arms shipment to the Bosnian Muslims, including the plane's landing in Zagreb and 
the weapons passage into Bosnian territory. The account also detailed Bosnian attempts to have 

' Senate Votes Arms for Rnsnia, The Washington Post, May 13. 1994, at Al; Thomas 
Pomfi^ Iran Ships F.xplnsive s to Bosnian Muslims , The Washington Post, May 13, 1994, at Al 
(hereinafter 'Tomfret"). 



United Stales ofTicials in Vienna intercede on their behalf when the convoy carrying weapons 
was stopped by the Bosnian Croats." 

According to the Washington Post article, an Iranian arms flight arrived in Zagreb, and 
was quickly offloaded to a convoy for transport to Bosnia by Croatian officials. The convoy 
traveled without incident through Croatia but was halted in Tomislavgrad, located just inside 
Bosnia. Apparently Bosnian Croat forces stopped the convoy because they wanted a portion of 
the weapons on board. Bosnian officials sought to use diplomatic pressure to obtain the 
convoy's release. The article reported that Bosnian officials contacted the United States embassy 
in Vienna on May 10, 1994, seeking assistance with the problem.' The call came to Embassy 
Vienna because it was hosting ongoing negotiations between the Bosnian Croats and Muslims 
regarding the terms of the Federation Agreement,* and it was logical to seek a solution at an 
event where all the parties were convened. The article reported that the Bosnians sought the 
Croatian government's assistance afler success with the United States embassy. The 
Croatian government intervened and finally arranged for the passage of the convoy.' 

The article does not suggest United States involvement in the convoy. To the contrary, 
the article explains that the United States could do nothing to facilitate its release.* When the 
article was received at Embassy Zagrd>, however, the DCM and thefllH^^HMbegan 

' Pomfret at A43. 







speculating on who had been contacted about the convoy in Vienna. Th^Bl^l^^HiP[ 
coupled the speculation with indications that the Bosnians may have placed requests to release 
the convoy to Embassy Zagreb and reported taJB^neadquarters the DCM's speculation that 
Special Envoy Redman may have intervened on behalf of the arms convoy. The report fueled 
suspicions at the CIA that certain United States officials were engaged in covert activity to arm 
the Bosnian Muslims. Ultimately, these suspicions regarding the convoy were elevated to a 
sufficiently high level to comprise part of the^investigation undertaken by the Intelligence 
Oversight Board in November 1994. 

The Minority concludes that Special Envoy Redman did not intervene knowingly to have 
an arms convoy released. Some circumstantial evidence suggests that Special Envoy Redman 
may have made a call from Vienna regarding a convoy during the first week of May 1994. The 
source of that evidence, however, testified that Special Envoy Redman had no knowledge or 
awareness of any arms on the convoy.^ Further, no evidence of any kind exists to suggest that 
Ambassador Galbraith or any other United States personnel facilitated the release of this convoy 
or any prior or subsequent arms convoys. 

^ Special Envoy Redman's Intelligence Assistant testified before staff of the Senate Select 
Conunittce on Intelligence that Special Envoy Redman received word that a blocked convoy was 
the reason for the breakdown of the negotiation talks. Special Envoy Redman suggested to the 
United States delegation that perhaps he s hgyld make a call to have it released in order to allow 
the negotiations tpprocecd. Testimony oMIBIBtfSenate Select Committee on Intelligence, 
May 31, 1996. ^HiflBhas no firsthandknowledge if Special Envoy made the call, but within 
hours, the talks resume(flnd there was no more discussion about a convoy, so she assimied he 
had acted. Id. ^>i^^ 

^^^ 196 


Convoys to Bosnia. 

Virtually every person inter\iewed by the Select Subcommittee who had been stationed 
in or operated out of Embassy Zagreb, testified that the issue of humanitarian convoys was one 
they dealt with on a daily basis.' Humanitarian relief convoys were virtually the only way 
supplies and materiel could reach the besieged Bosnian Muslims. As a result, ensuring the safe 
and continuous passage of convoys through foreign territory was a large part of any negotiations 
in the region.' During 1993, for instance. Ambassador Galbraith demarched the Croatians 
regarding their lack of enthusiasm for helping humanitarian relief convoys. It was essential to 
areas such as Tuzla and Sarajevo that humanitarian and commercial convoys be allowed into 
Bosnia.'" The success of these convoys depended in large measure on Croatian willingness to 
pressure the Bosnian Croats to allow blocked convoys to pass." 

• Sm Select Subcommittee Deposition of Peter Galbraith, Aug. 19, 1996, at 133 (stating 
that convoys were a regular business for embassy [Zagreb]) (hereinafter "Galbraith 
Subcommittee Dq)."); Select Subcommittee Deposition of Thomas Mittnacht, Aug. 14, 1996, at 
IS (explaining that a typical day in 1994 would find him spending a couple hours a day on the 
humanitarian situation including how many convoys were moving) (hereinafter "Mittnacht 
Subcommittee Dqi.'O; Select Subcommittee Deposition of Lt Col Heriick, Aug. 20, 1996, at 100, 
152 (noting his involvement in getting convoys released sometimes twice a month during 1993 
and 1994)(hereinaftcr**HeiTick Subcommittee Dep."); Neitzkc Subcomminee Dep. at 247 
(noting that from 1993 on, one of the mo«« frequent topics with the government of Croatia was 
trying to get them to intervene ... to allow passage of . . . relief convoys ). 

* Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 133. 

'" Id. Ambassador Galbraith explained that commercial traffic was essential to the 
reestablishment of these communities. Id. 

" Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 247. 



As a result of this near constant diplomatic activity regarding convoys. United States 
personnel in the region, particularly those in Embassy Zagreb, became so accustomed to 
handling requests about convoys that the May 1 994 convoy was not distinguishable from other 
convoys.'^ No one gave the convoy any thought until the Intelligence Oversight Board launched 
its investigation into what role, if any. United States personnel may have had in facilitating its 

The May 1994 Convoy and Embassy Zagreb. 

At some point during the first week of May, Ambassador Biserka Turkovic, the Bosnian 
Ambassador to Croatia, contacted Ambassador Galbraith and requested his intervention with the 
Croatian government to facilitate the release of a convoy.'^ She explained to the Ambassador 

" Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 100-04 (noting his surprise when he learned during 
Senate testimony that the convoy was a concern); Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 383 (explaining 
that the Bosnian Ambassador's hysterical state was the only reason the convoy was memorable); 
Select Subcommittee Deposition of Charles Redman, Aug. 27, 1996, at 127 (indicating that this 
convoy made no impression on him until others began asking about it months later). 

" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 127-28. 

** Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 131; Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 248j^^9>( 

Subcommittee Dep. at 127-28; Herrick SubcommiUee Dep. at 104. The Majority Rqmrt asserts 
that Ambassador Turkovic had attempted to convince the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia, Victor 
Jackovich, to join her in the convoy but that he declined the invitation. See Majority Report at 
1 36. While Ambassador Jackovich testified that Ambassador Turkovic had asked him to join a 
convoy, he suggested that "I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. See Select 
Subcommittee Deposition of Ambassador Victor Jackovich, Aug. 29, 1996. at 58 (hereinafter 
••Jackovich Subcommittee Dep."). He fiuther testified that he is not sure whether the convoy 
ever traveled to Bosnia. The convoy Ambassador Jackovich described was to have traveled fiom 
Zagreb to Tuzla. Its route was to have been cast through the Slavonia region of Croatia then 
south through a small stretch of Serb-controlled and then Federation territory to Tuzla. Id. at 59- 
61. The convoy led by Ambassador Turkovic in May, on the other hand, was stopped in 



that her convoy was trapped between the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian territory." Ambassador 
Turkovic expressed hope that the Ambassador could convince the Croatian government to 
persuade the Bosnian Croats to let the convoy pass. 

Ambassador Galbraith did not intervene on the Bosnians behalf." Although no tangible 
evidence had been presented to the Ambassador suggesting that the convoy may ha\ c be:n 
carrying arms, he believed that arms may have been part of the cargo and did not want to be 
involved.'^ Ambassador Galbraith had become aware that an Iranian cargo plane had landed at 
Zagreb airport" and he reasoned that if the convoy had originated with that shipment, he w ould 
be overstepping United States policy on these shipments." He believed that his involvement in 
such a convoy would give the appearance of United States complicity with the arms shipments 
which contravened the policy response he and Special Envoy Redman had just delivered to 

Tomislavgrad, which is in Hcrcegovina, near the Croatian border. A knowledge of geography 
would demonstrate that the convoy that Ambassador Jackovich was asked to lead coulc^not be 
the same one about which Ambassador Turkovic called the U.S. embassy in May^ 


'* Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 133; Select Subconunittee Interview of Anthony 
Harrington, July 25, 1996, (noting that the lOB found no evidence to suggest that Ambassador 
Galbraith had intervened to release the convoy). 

" Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 133. 

" Ambassador Galbraith had received press inquiries prior to the publication of the 
Washingtnn Pn<rt article and these journalists had informed him of the Iranian cargo flight. Id. 
Based on this information. Ambassador Galbraith deduced that the convoy may have resulted 
from the Iranian flight Id. 

"Id. at 138-39. 



President Tudjman.-" Ambassador Galbraith did not want allegations suggesting that the United 
States was urging the passage of weapons, as that was not the intended policy position.-' 
The media became very interested in the convoy story" Because the affair was 
thoroughly reported in the media it was discussed in the country team meetings. Numerous 
journalists contacted the embassy for the United States reaction to the Iranian cargo flight and 
Ambassador Turkovic's convoy.*' The Ambassador and the public affairs officer simply 
responded "no comment," because they lacked knowledge of the incident. Once the media 
interest in the story subsided, th? embassy had no further discussions about or involvemei. .. ai 
the convoy. 

Special Envoy Redman 's Contact with the May Convoy. 

Special Envoy Redman was in Vierma, Austria during the first week of May negotiating 
with the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims on various aspects of the Federation. During 
one of the negotiation sessions, the process stalled and the delegations departed.^* The U.S. 
delegation learned subsequently that the breakdown was the result of a convoy being blocked by 



^ Hovanec Subcommittee Dep. at 40. 

" Id. at 42; Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 133. 

^ Select Subcommittee Interview ofipBMMAug. 21, 19%, at 1 (hereinafter jH^BM 

Subcommittee Int.") 



the Bosnian Croats.'* In order to proceed with the negotiations, the Bosnian Muslims asked 
Special Envoy Redman to get the convoy released.'" Special Envoy Redman does not recall 
intervening on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims to have a convoy released,"' but soon after the 
request was made the talks resumed and there was no more discussion of convoys.'' 

Neither Special Envoy Redman nor any of his staff had any knowledge that the convoy 
might have contained arms.^ Special Envoy Redman's only concern was the effect the 
blockage was having on the negotiations and the need to remove the impediment. Special Envoy 
Redman had dealt with convoy issues in the past while negotiating the winter relief efforts in 
Bosnia." Special Envoy Redman relied on the mechanisms created by the UNHCR to monitor 
the flow of convoys and what they contained;" he concentrated his efforts on obtaining 



" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 127-28. 

Subconamittee lot at 1. 

" Id.; Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 127, 129. 

" Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 128-29. - 

" According to officials with the UNHCR, convoys had to be cleared at least one week in 
advance by all parties of whose territory the convoy crossed. Minority Staff Telephonic 
Interview of Arme-Willem Bijleveld, Aug. 1, 1996, at 1 (hereinafter "Bijleveld Minority Int"). 
At each checkpoint along the route, the convoy could be subjected to a ftill or spot inspection. 
Id. The convoys often would be blocked until a settlement conducive to all parties was reached 
which often meant the splitting of the convoy's cargo. Id. The mercurial nature of the warring 
parties and individual security guards made the issue of convoys a daily battle for UNHCR and 
those working to facilitate convoy traffic. Id. 



guarantees that the convoys could flow unimpeded.'' Special Envoy Redman and his diplomatic 
counterparts had neither the mandate nor the time to determine what was contained on each 
convoy entering Bosnia." 

Reporting by 'Ae^H^HIBBt | 

On May 14, 1994, the;WWHBfc[ reported to his headquarters about a conversation 
he had with the DCM concerning the WashingtOiLPost article. During this conversation the 
DCM informed thej^H^mjUof the "hysterical" telephone call Ambassador Turkovic had 
placed to the Embassy." The DCM told theflHBViBHthat Ambassador Turkovic wanted 
Ambassador Galbraith to intercede with the Croatian government, but he refused to do so.'^ The 
DCM also told thM^HI^P^Bthat Special Envoy Redman had been contacted in Vienna.'* 
The DCM believed that someone had intervened to have the convoy released and it was likely 

" Redman SubcommiUee Dep. at 128-129. 

'' Id. at 133. Special Envoy Redman explained that neither he, the European presidents, 
or the foreign ministers could determine if humanitarian reUef was the only thing on the convoys; 
such things fell under the control of the UNHCR. Id. In May 1994, for example, there were 
308,000 people affected by the war in the Southern region of Bosnia to which this convoy was 
headed. In that month alone almost 2,600 metric tons of food were delivered by U.N. and 
privately sponsored convoys. In the midst of the difficult Balkan negotiations, it would have 
been virtually impossible for the Special Envoy or any other diplomat to determine what one 
particular convoy contained on a given day. 

^ Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 248;lHHSubcommittee Dep. at 127-28 

{[Subcommittee Dep. at 127-28. In h is_Subconunittee t estimony, the £>CM was 
noncommittal as to whether he in fact said this to tht jB UBfc^j Neitzke Subcommittee 
Dep. at 38:i^6*fc^ 



Special Envoy Redman." The DCM did not explain the source of his belief that Special Envoy 
Redman or the United States had intervened despite the fact that the Washington Post asserted 
that no United States official helped to satisfy the Bosnian request^^S^i^ 

Since April 1994, the DCM suggested, and thefl|HB||Wreported, Special Envoy 
Redman had attempted to find a way to arm the Bosnian Muslims. In a report to headquarters on 
April 20, 1994, thejBBIHMfcxplained that the DCM told him that Special Envoy 
Redman and perhaps others were considering a covert action plan similar to the United States 
role in Afghanistan to circumvent the aims embargo." Special Envoy Redman has no 
recollection of pursuing any such proposal and was unsure of the source of the statement." The 
DCM also could not recall telling thejI^IHHHthat the Special Envoy was considering a 
covert action plan. \Z^^^^^ 

Throughout the summer the DCM continued to encourage speculation about Special 
Envoy Redman. In July 1994, he commented to the^|mHH||ilhat Special Envoy 
Redman's key role in the entire affair was not well known in Washington." ^^flHHUft 
m^Hkwho by thi^ time had been instructed repeatedly by his headquarters to rqx>rt anything 
that looked like United States involvement in arming the Muslims,*' dutifully rqxnted his 

" Sec Neitzke Subcommittee Dep. at 247 (explaining that he did not personally intervene 
but that he was sure [the United States] intervened; Redman may have intervened. . . .^. 

^2^PMHBB^BH|Apr. 20, 1994. 
** Redman Subcommittee Dep. at 86. 

IJuly26, 1994 
" Althouglt^he was cautioned to refrain^m editorializipg on the issue of aims 

th ouglt^h e 

shipments, theHH:x>ntinued to encourage thM^^HHtBro report including information 


conversation with the DCM. This report added to the inaccurate and growing suspicions at the 
CIA that something was happening to which it was not privy^T^^i^^^^ 

ThdlHHB^Wreporting of the DCM's unsubstantiated claims that Special Envoy 
Redman intervened in this convoy, together with other reporting of the DCM's allegations led to 
increased skepticism at the CIA about what was happening at Embassy Zagreb. In a 
conversation with Special Envoy Redman's intelligence assistantJpmi^mi|HH^ 

■■■kalso voiced concerns about Special Envoy Redman's role/- ThaMHBHMftold the 

C^  ^ 

mtelhgence assistant about his belief that Special Envoy Redman had helped precipitate the 

Iranian arms flows during his meeting with President Tudjman and Ambassador Galbraith and 

related that to his alleged involvement in the May 1994 convoy." Special Envoy Redman's 

assistant explained that there was no reason for Special Envoy Redman to take an active role in 

any Bosnian-Croatian matters other than to bring the parties to negotiation." It was her opinion 

that th(||PPHllH^Bvas exaggerating Special Envoy Redman's role in the whole affair.^' 

Because of the DCM's persistent speculation about Special Envoy Redman's 

involvement and the jMB BBHMpersistent reporting of conversations with other embassy 

personnel, the lOB was asked to investigate whether Special Envoy Redman facilitated the flow 

he obtained i n^onversations w ith other United States embassy personnel. The CIA repeatedly 
instructed theMBI^HIIflBto continue reporting information as he had been between 4-1 1/94. 


^ Subcommittee Int at 1 



of arms to Bosnia. The lOB concluded that circumstantial evidence existed to suggest that 
Special Envoy Redman had done something for Ambassador Turkovic's convoy, but even if he 
had interceded, Special Envoy Redman lacked any knowledge that the convoy contained arms. 
Furthermore, as discussed in Chapter One, Section Five of the Minority Views regarding the 
definition of covert activity, even if Special Envoy Redman had known that arms were on board 
and had facilitated the release of the convoy, his actions would not have constituted a covert 

The Minority concludes that had it not been for this rampant speculative reporting, the 
May 1994 convoy would have been no more significant than the thousands of other convoys that 
traversed the region during the war. The allegations of misconduct and possible covert action 
were wholly unsupported by any evidence and should not have been accorded the level of 
significance that was afforded them. The Minority also believes that the CIA must do a better job 
of distinguishing between speculation and gossip in intelligence reporting. The speculation by 
the DCM about Special Envoy Redman was rumor and gossip, not intelligence. 



Chapter Two 
Section Five 


The transshipment of arms from Iran and other Islamic countries to Bosnia through 

Croatia undoubtedly involved the work of middlemen, arms dealers and other shadowy figures. 
The shadowy figure who emerged in the Select Subconunittee investigation was Imam 
Omerbasic, the religious leader of the Muslims in Zagreb. The Minority shares the belief ihat • 
Imam Omerbasic played a role in arranging arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims. However, 
the Minority strongly objects to any effon to connect the Imam's role to any United States 
Government official. For example, Imam Omerbasic met with Senator Bob Dole who also was 
sympathetic to the plight of the Bosnian Muslims. To suspect Senator Dole on the basis of a 
meeting and his sympathy for the Bosnians would be ludicrous. To do so in the case of 
Ambassador Galbraith is equally so. 

Celebrating the End of Ramadan. 

One of the first allegations that United Sutes officials may have been involved in covert 
attempts to arm the Bosnian Muslims surfaced in April 1994, before the United States responded 
to Croatia's inquiry about the resumption of the formal arms pipeline to Bosnia, i 




Upon receipt of the cable, the||^HHB||[attempted to ascertain if anyone in the 
embassy had met with the cleric or had any information about the identification of the United 
States officials. After learning that the Ambassador and the Economic Commercial Officei^Tiad 
been at the Mosque the month prior, th e^^HM BHI^cabled back to^Hheadquarters before 
checking all the facts and reponed that i^was the Ambassador who had met with the cleric and 
discussed the conveyance of anns^^^^i^^ 

Testimony and documents reviewed by the Select Subcommittee stafToffer no evidence 
to suggest that a secret contact or conversation between the Ambassador and the cleric ever 
occurred and that supplying Bosnia with arms was ever discussed. 

Visits with the Imam. 

The Select Subcommittee has coniinned with various Embassy Zagreb personnel that the 
cleric was a well known figure in the Zagreb Muslim community who often appeared on 
television and in the press to discuss the Bosnian Muslim condition. As such, the Ambassador, 

* The Economic Commercial Officer was responsible for maintaining the Embassy's 
contact with the religious communities in Croatia. 



other Embassy Zagreb personnel and visiting Members of Congress and staff paid courtesy calls 
on the Imam, when appropriate. For instance, in an interview of the Imam by the Select 
Subcommittee, Mr. Omerbasic acknowledged meeting with Senator Dole and Representative 
McCIoskey on their trips to the region."' Certainly if the Ambassador or any other United States 
GoverTiment official in Croatia had discussed with the cleric a rogue operation to provide the 
Bosnians with arms, the Embassy would be reluctant to facilitate meetings between Members of 
Congress and the Imam out of concern that the cleric might disclose the illicit operation. 

The Majority Report asserts mat Ambassador Galbraith and Cleric Omerbasic met a 
number of times between August 1993 and April 1994. The Select Subcommittee heard 
testimony from several sources who described the infrequent contact between the Ambassador 
and the cleric; limited to one or perhaps two meetings between the Ambassador and the cleric* 

' Select Subcommittee Interview of Imam Sevko Omerbasic, Aug. 21, 1996, at 1 
(hereinafter "Omerbasic Subcommittee Int."). The Majority report characterizes Mr. 
Omerbasic's answers to staff questions during this interview as "demonstrably false." However, 
the Majority report offers no evidence to support this comment. In the absence of proof, the 
minority does not similarly question the portion of the Imam's interview relating to his contacts 
with Ambassador Galbraith. 

* The Majority report cites two sources for its assertion that "several meetings" occurred 
during 1992-1993: the Select Subcommittee Deposition of Charlotte Stottman, Aug. 10, 1996 
and a Memo of Interview of Teni Lee Baker prepared by Julia Gaines and Janine Doheity. The 
Minority questions both of these cites. First, during her deposition, Ms. Stottman claimcxl that 
the name Omerbasic "was familiar" and that he came to the Embassy "more than once." Id. at 38. 
Ms. Stottman did not offer and the Select Subcommittee was unable to determine any 
corroborating evidence to prove that the Imam ever visited Embassy Zagreb for any purpose. In 
subsequent interviews, colleagues of Ms. Stottman noted that she was moody and perhaps the 
victim of a split personality. Further, upon attempting to corroborate Ms. Stottman's memory of 
factual issues, she was found to be in error on many occasions. In light of these factors, Ae 
Minority has difficulty relying on her recount of events and questions her credibility. See Select 
Subcommittee Interview of Terri Lee Baker, Aug. 19, 1996; Select Subcommittee Interview of 
Shane Pitzer, Aug. 30, 1996; Select Subcommittee Interview of Duska Djuric, Aug. 21, 19%. 



The first meeting took place in July 1993. when the Ambassador made a courtesy call on Imam 
Omerbasic at his ofTice in the Zagreb Islamic Center* It is customary for a new Ambassador to 
pay a courtesy visit to all government officials and community leaders - including religious 
leaders. The embassy Protocol Affairs Officer, arranged the meeting and Susan Hovanec, the 
embassy's Public Affairs Offi-er, accompanied the i»jnbassador to the meeting." While their 
discussion lasted more than an hour, in part because it was facilitated through an interpreter, the 
conversation centered mostly on the war and the vast number of Muslims who were dying as a 
result. Ms. Hovanec characterized the meeting as a "sad recital of suffering."' 

Second, the Select Subcommittee Interview of Tern Lee Baker, Aug. 19, 1996, at 1, accurately 
noted that Ms. Baker had no knowledge of an individual named Imam Omerbasic and it is 
therefore unclear how she would be aware of "several meetings." Additionally, in a 
Memorandum of Interview of Terri Lee Baker prepared by Carrie Moore, Ms. Baker is noted to 
have stated that she never scheduled meetings for the Ambassador and Mr. Omerbasic. 

' Select Subcommittee Deposition of Susan Hovanec, Aug. 7, 1996, at 33 (hereinafter 
"Hovanec Subcommittee Dep."). 

* Id. at 33-34. Ms. Hovanec testified that the Embassy Protocol Affairs officer, Ms. 
Duska Duric, probably made the arrangements for the meeting, but that she (Susan Hovenac) 
also may have arranged it Later, Ms. Hovanec remembers that Economic Commercial Officer 
Tom Mittnacht also may have scheduled the meeting. Id. at 77. Ms. Hovanec claims that one of 
the reasons she accompanied the Ambassador to the meeting was because she speaks Croatian 
and was able to certify that the interpreter's translations between Ambassador Galbraith and Mr. 
Omeibasic were conect 

' Hovenac Subcommittee Dep. At 34. SM_alsQ, Select Subcommittee Deposition of Peter 
Galbraith, August 19, 1996, at 77, 80 (hereinafter "Galbraith Subcommittee Dep."). Ambassador 
Galbrith did not offer any information about this meeting during his deposition. Although the 
Ambassdor did not recall having met Imam Omeibasic prior to March 13, 1994, he did not 
exclude that there might have been some other occasion, for instance the Fourth of July party in 
1993, when they may have met Ambassador Galbraith did recall generally paying a courtesy 
call with "some Muslim leaders" in the summer of 1993, but he was unable to identify anyone in 
particular. Id. 



The second meeting between the Ambassador and Imam Omerbasic, if it occurred at all, 
may have occurred on Sunday. March 13, 1994, the last day of the Muslim holy month of 
Ramadan.' Ambassador Galbraith and Tom Mittnacht, the embassy's Economic Commercial 
Officer, had been invited to attend a gathering (the feast of Eid) to mark the end of Ramadan. 
Dr. Izet Aganovic, the President of the Merhamet relief organization and an individual with 
whom Mr. Mittnacht had frequent business contact, had extended the invitation to the 
Ambassador.' At 8:30 am on March 13, the Ambassador and Mr. Mittnacht went to the mosque 
to attend the early morning celebration in a show of solidarity with the Muslim community in 
Zagreb.'" Both the Ambassador and Mr. Mittnacht characterized this event as a festive occasion 
in which mere pleasantries were exchanged, rather than a business meeting." The Ambassador 
testifies that March 1994 was the last time he met with the cleric.'" (The Ambassador's 

* Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 77. 

' Select Subcommittee Deposition of Tom Mittnacht, Aug., 14, 1996, at 46 (hereinafter 
"Mittnacht Subcommittee Dep."). Mr. Mittnacht testified that, in the course of his day to day 
work tracking progress of the humanitarian aid convoys and organization relief efforts, he had 
frequent contact with relief organizations including Merhamet and its director, Dr Izet 

"* Mittnacht Subcommittee Dep. at 47. 

" Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 78; Mittnacht Subcommittee Dep. at 47-48. 

" Galbraith Subconunittee Dep. at 79. The Majority Report notes the presence of the 
business card of Mr. Omerbasic in the Ambassador's Rolodex as recently as August 1996, 
perhaps as a suggestion that the Ambassador and the cleric had a great deal of contact despite the 
Ambassador's firm recollection to the contrary. The Minority is not aware of how the Majority 
obtained information about the contents of the Rolodex, as no copy of the Ambassador's 
Rolodex was ever requested by, received, or made available to the Select Subcommittee. A 
photocopy of Omerbasic's business card appeared in the Select Subcommittee files on October 
22. 1996. 



recollection of the cleric's presence during the post-Ramadan meeting may be in error, however, 
as Mr. Mittnacht testified that the cleric was not present. In addition, the cleric informed the 
Select Subcommittee that he did not specifically recall attending the Feast of Eid."). 


Tries to Identify the United States Officials, but Jumps to Conclusions. 


In late April 1994, six weeks after the Ramadan celebration, thej 

" Omerbasic Sabcommittee Int. at 1. The cleric remembered meeting Ambassador 
Galbraith in 1993, but did not specifically recall if he or the Ambassador were present at the feast 
of Eid in 1994. 

_-- Jl Select Subcommittee p^o^on o; 
MBiVSubcommittee ^^•")-^'^l|^^ 

(Subconmiittee Dep. at 6! 

Aug. 9, 1996. at 61-62 (hereinafler 


I If United 

States ofTicials had attempted to obtain arms for tiie Bosnian Muslims, it is highly unlikely that 
the Imam would have waited a month to rep ort such an important contact and request to his 
Iranian contacts! 

The^lPB^^HHspeculated that the meeting between the United States officials and 
the cleric involved "apparent collusion" with Iran on the delivery of arms and tasked his Deputy 
to approach the embassy's Economic Officer Tom Mittnacht to inquire what United States 
officials had met with the cleric." After Mr. Mittnacht replied that he and the Ambassador were 
at the Eid celebration at the Mosque in March.i 

Idid not ask Economic Officer Mittnacht what had transpired at the meeting" and 
consequently, filed an incomplete cable back to his headquarters that merely offers that the 
Ambassador may be one of the unidentified officials. 

When the Ambassador returned from travel, th^^|^B^HBBlf approached him about 
the intelligence report. Ambassador Galbraith reviewed the report, verified his presence at the 

! on Intel ligence hearing ,Apr. 31, 1996, (testimony of the 
^t 16; The^HUHJ^^did not iqpproach thgEmba 
Zagreb q^cer personally when investigating his concern, instead, he asked hi^ 

: a generic request about what United States officials may have met with the 

'QnThis is most curious because the cable has no refe[ence4^ a date of the alleged 
meeting between the cleric and the U.S. government ofTicials. , 




Mosque the month before, and denied discussing the issue of arms at all with the Imam."" 
Because he did not ask for any additional infonnation from Economic Affairs Officer Mittnacht 
or Ambassador Galbraith, th^fl^HBHHlcable was filled with inaccuracies and 
speculation. For instance, th^jH^B^H^Pffailed to report in his cable to headquarters that 
Mr. Mittnacht did not think that the cleric was present at the feast of Eid and that the 
Ambassador, therefore, may have been in error in remembering that Mr. Omerbasic was present 
at the event.'' TheJHHiH^^did not check, nor did he report that both Mr. Mittnacht and 
the Ambassador were in each other's presence during the entire event and that no discussion of 
arms shipments occurred." Finally, the reporting inaccurately portrays the character of the 
event; referring to it as a meeting rather than a festive event to mark the end of Ramadan to 
which the local press was invited. At best, the reporting is speculative and incomplete. At worst, 
it appears to be intentionally misleading since it states as fact that Mr. Mittnacht said that he and 
the Ambassador met with the cleric, but fails to include Mittnacht's true recollections that the 
cleric was not present, that arms were not discussed^H 

ubcommittee Dep. at 30. 

" Mittnacht Subcommittee Dep. at 45. When asked if he had met the cleric, Mittnacht 
replied that he recalled meeting the cleric in November 1992, and then says "I have to confess, I 
believe it's been said that he was at this meeting in March of 1994, but I don't distinctly recall 
him being there." See also, Galbraith Subcommittee Dep. at 78 (explaining he remembers 
meeting the cleric at the feast of Eid). 

" Mittnacht Subcommittee Dep. at 48 (explaining Aath^jtoes not recall any instances in 
which he might not be within earshot of the Ambassador); jH^l^ubcommittee D^ep. aHO 
(noting that Ambassador Galbraith said he never discussed arms with the cleric) 



In response to a question posed to the cleric asking if the Ambassador ever was involved 
in working to arm the Bosnian Muslims, the cleric replied that "unfortunately" that was not the 
case." The Imam explained that if the Muslims had received weapons from the United States, 
they would have not have suffered as many casualties." The cleric went on to state that he had 
no knowledge of any United States officials involved in arming Bosnia." That Imam Omerbasic 
expressed disappointment that the United States had not supplied arms to the Bosnian Muslims, 
further casts doubt on the possibility that Ambassador Galbraith or any other United States 
official ever had made an offer of arms. 

A Case of Mistaken Identification. 

The record is clear. The Ambassador first met Mr. Omerbasic in July 1993 on a courtesy 
call. Anns were not discussed. The second possible contact between the Ambassador and the 
cleric with respect to which none of the participants - including the cleric - has a clear memory 
of who attended, was a social event covered by the press in which no discussion of anns 
occurred. Two years later in May 19%, when the new Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Finn 
made a courtesy call on the Imam, the cleric noted that he was the first official fix>m the Embassy 
the cleric had met with in two years." 

" Omerbasic Subcommittee Int. at I. 

" Select Subcommittee Interview of Robert Finn, Aug. 18, 1996, at 2. 



(but no credible evidence exists to confirm the speculation by the 
I that United States government officials were "colluding" with Iran on weapons. In fact, 
the speculative, incomplete and inaccurate nature of the reporting created suspicions within the 
CIA that a covert operation, spearheaded by Ambassador Galbraith, was underway. This was 
wildly disproportionate to the facts. 



Chapter Two 
Section Six 


Among the most publicized allegations of United States involvement in arming the 
Bosnian Muslims involved the February 1995 reports of United States cargo aircraft landing at 
Tuzla airport. These reports were investigated at the time they occurred by NATO, the Defense 
Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. No evidence confirming the reports was 
discovered. The Minority a)*-' has not been able to identify credible evidence of the alleged 

The reports of phantom C-130 cargo planes escorted by fighter jets first surfaced in the 
public media in February 1995.' According to press accounts," United Nations peacekeepers 
reported hearing and seeing cargo planes escorted by fighter aircraft flying over the Tuzla airport 

' Allegations that the United States was conducting covert arming of the Bosnian 
Muslims in Sarajevo were not new. A United States Army colonel stationed with the 
UNPROFOR commander heard similar allegations as early as 1994. These allegations likely 
were premised on the fact that the United States regularly conducted humanitarian food drops in 
tfie Tuzla region fron-. C-130s stationed out of Germany. He believed, and the commander of 
UNPROFOR concurred, that these rumours were being circulated "by people who felt it in their 
interest to do so." Select Subcommittee Deposition of LtCol John E. Sray, Aug. 29, 1996, at 16 
(hereinafter "Sray Subcommittee Dep."). In 1994 the colonel and others 6x)m European 
Command investigated the allegations and confirmed that there were food drop operations being 
conducted and no covert activity on the part of the United States. Id. at 21 . The rumours that 
carried through 1995 that the United States was involved in some sort of covert operation likely 
stemmed from these earlier rumours. 

' Ses, e^, NATO Finds No Trace of Mystery Bosnian Aircraft, Reuters, Feb. 12, 1995 
(United Nations peacekeepers reported fnsh sightings of mystery aircraft); Robert Fox, Hercules 
Fli ghts Never F.xp laineri, The Daily Telegraph. Jun. 2, 1995, at 1 (Flights of a C-130 Hercules 
were heard landing at the Tuzla airport in February); UN. Says There's No Proof of Arms 
Shipments to Bosnian Moslems , Deutsche Press- Agentur, Mar. 1, 1995 at A9 (U.S. Built C-I30s 
are speculated to have been used by the United States or Turkey to run covert operations). 



on the nights of February 10 and 12, 1995.' On the evening of February 10, 1995. a patrol went 
to investigate the alleged flight but retreated after being fired upon by Bosnian Muslim forces.' 
Although no cargo or other aircraft actually were observed on the ground at any of the four 
airstrips which comprise the Tuzla airport region, the press reported speculation that the United 
States was involved. Press speculation about a United States role in the flights persisted »^ecause 
it was believed that the C-130s may have been conducting maneuvers such as air drops of high 
technology weapons that could have only been performed by only a few countries such as the 
United States, France, and Britain.' 

On both occasions, NATO, the entity responsible for maintaining the no-fly zone over 
Bosnia, found nothing to verify that the flights had taken place.' The speculation continued, 
however, because the United States had primary responsibility for the monitoring of the no-fly 
zone via radar and other aircraft and thus presumably could have allowed the flights to proceed 
"undetected." Some alleged that the United States also would have been in the position to know 
when radar coverage of the Tuzla area would be diminished sufficiently to permit clandestine 

' Catherine Toups, Ttii«t«!ia DemanHs Answers at ll.N.: Suspects Secret A rms Drops in 
pnsnia Denying Fmhargo. The Washington Times, Feb. 25, 1995, at A9. 

* I T S TiimaH Rlind Fye tf i Ai"<'"P ♦" »"<:"!«" Muslims. Reuters, Oct. 30, 1995. 


* See I IN. Says T ^prp'c Nn Pmnf of Arms Shipments to Bosnian Moslems . Deutsche 
Press-Agentur, Mar. 1, 1995 (sUtement by U.N. spokesman Fred EckhardXThere is no proof to 
support the theory that U.S. cargo planes have recently made weapons drops to the Bosnian 




On February 24, 1995, the Russian delegation to the United Nations Security Council 
asked for a formal report from NATO and the United Nations on the mystery flights.' NATO 
subsequently launched a military investigation into the matter. Military investigators traveled to 
Tuzia and interviewed eye w-tnesses in order to reconstruct events.' "Hie military investigation 
concluded that the flights observed by the Norwegian members of UNPROFOR on February 10 
and 12, 1995, were attributed to "scheduled . . . NATO flights.'"" NATO released the results of 
its investigation on March 1, 1995." Despite the NATO investigation, questions continued to 
linger within European circles about the Tuzla flights and possible United States involvement. 
Press reports continued sporadically throughout 1995, quoting unidentified U.N. officials 
alleging that the flights "had been a weapons delivery" and that "the United States had approved 
of the. . . operations."" 

' INF Memorandum, Feb. 21, 1995, at 1. At the time, only one AW AGs radar plane was 
monitoring the area over Bosnia, and Tuzla was located at the edge of the AWACs' effective 
range. Id. 

'Id. In his address to a closed session of the Security Council, Yuri Fedetov, Russian 
Special Envoy to the United Nations called the alleged flights "a cause for concern." Id. 


" Id. On January 17, 1995, NATO resumed close air support C'CAS") training over 
Bosnia. INR Viewpoint, Jan. 21, 1995, at 2. These training missions were not publicized widely 
and it is likely that ground UNPROFOR were not informed about them in advance. 

" NATO Say j; TnvtHrtigatinn Fin ds No Evidence of Arms Drops . Associated Press, Mar. 
1, 1995. 

'^ Id. 



The NA TO Investigation. 

According to the report prepared by the NATO investigative team, beginning at 
approximately 5:45 p.m. on February 10. U>fPROFOR personnel located in Sector Northeast 
reported the sighting of a transport type aircraft with two fighter escorts." According to the Air 
Operations Coordination Center ("AOCC") in Sarajevo, these planes were seen landing at the 
Tuzla West airstrip.'^ Approximately one hour later, U.N. monitors also began receiving reports 
of fixed wing activity around Tuzla.'* In all, four reports of fixed wing activity were lodged on 
February 10, 1995." The second report occurred in the early evening of Sunday, February \1, 
1995. U>fPROFOR personnel began reporting "jet noise" over Tuzla. Reports of fixed wing 
aircraft filtered into NATO and United Nations monitoring centers for nearly an hour. While 
attempting to ascertain if a plane had landed at that Tuzla West airstrip, a team of Nordic 

" Col. Timothy Jones, Final Report of Possible Fixed Wing Flight Activity at Tuzla, 10 
and 12 Feb. 1995, NATO/UNPROFOR Investigative Team (hereinafter 'Tuzla Final Report"). 


" Press reports of the flights indicated that they took place at the 'Tuzla airport" This is 
actually a misnomer for a collection of four airstrips located within the Tuzla area. A description 
of each of these air strips is helpftil in understanding the unlikelihood that arms deliveries by C- 
1 30 type aircraft would have taken place within the area. Tuzla main," an asphalt runway of 
nearly 7,000 feet, was under the control of UNPROFOR Northeast forces during 1995. This 
would have been the only available runway for the C-130s to use. The *Tuzla Highway Strip," 
located approximately six kilometers east of Tuzla Main, generally was unobserved by 
UNPROFOR although it was considered usable, but was not of the appropriate length for use by 
C-1 30s. 'Tuzla East" lay another kilometer east of Tuzla Highway. Tuzla East was a grass strip 
that was unusable at the time these alleged flights occurred. The final airstrip in this collection 
was designated 'Tuzla West" Tuzla West, located four kilometers southwest of Tuzla Main, 
was covered with piles of dirt rendering it unusable. Tuzla Final Report 




UNPROFOR troops was surrounded by Bosnian forces and prohibited from examining the 

The Select Subcommittee reviewed documentation provided by the Department of 
Defense, including the final report issued by the NATO investigative team, and interviewed 
numerous individuals will, knowledge of the rumours and investigaiions of them. The Minority 
concludes that no credible evidence exists to substantiate the claim that the United States 
delivered arms to the Bosnian Muslims via cargo flights on February 10 or 12, 1995." 

Attempts by United States and Other Officials to Investigate Flights. 

TheJHIH^^BlBlso was aware of the alleged Tuzla flights." Around the time that 
the flights occurred, th ejBI^M ^B^^^ceived a great deal of cable traf!ic and reporting on 
the incidents from military and regular intelligence channels.^ Despite the lack of physical 
evidence that such flights had occurred, and the absolute lack of United States involvement in the 

" Tuzla Final Report. 

" United Nations peacekeepers reported activity in the Tuzla vicinity again on February 
17, 1995. This activity included reports of five Bosnian government helicopters landing and 
taking off fiom Tuzla airport This activity was not part of the NATO investigation because that 
investigation concerned sdlegations of fixed wing aircraft activity only. The Select 
Subcommittee has determined, based on interviews and review of available material, that these 
flights were not part of any United States covert action plan to supply arms to the Bosnian 

'jf|B( Subcommittee Dep. at 54. 

^ The ll^BIHIH testified that general rumors about United States covert acti vj^^ 
repeated throughout the intdugence channels were covered "ad nauseam" within the pTess^^fai 
54-56. The Tuzla flights were afforded particular attention in intelligence channels and the 
media, vj^ ^^^^^^^ 



matter, the alleged flights were taken seriously because if such an action had been conducted by 
the United States, it would have caused significant friction within the allies."' Assuming that 
any such flight would have had to fly over Croatian air space, ihegtKKtt^^^ undertook his 
own investigation of the flights." The^MI^H^Hcould not prove that the flights had taken 
place. His investigation led him to believe that if any flights other than those sanctioned by and 
known to the United Nations and NATO had occurred, they were likely of Iranian or Turkish 
origin." He found no evidence indicating the United States had any role in the flights." 

" SttjHHSubcoau^ttee Dep. at SS (noting that the flight allegations were causing 
friction within NATO). 


'^^■^Subconunittee Dcp. at SS. 
** Herrick Subcommittee Dep. at 64 


^HenickSSaDq). at 27-28 




General Wesley Clark knew of the alleged Tuzla flights al